Police superintendent prefers OT to hiring more officers

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Chicago’s crime numbers for October are an improvement from last year.

The police department says there were 83 fewer shootings last month, than in October of 2012.


There were also three fewer murders.

Overall crime is down 15-percent this year.

Numbers like those are reasons why the police department is rejecting calls to hire more officers.
The city is on pace to spending $93 million in overtime in 2013.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says a lot of that is from putting more officers in high crime areas.

“We put 400 officers on overtime into these areas.  Three percent of the geography that is responsible for 20 percent of the violence over the last five years,” said McCarthy on the WGN Morning News.  “The return on investment that we got is overwhelming.  We got 600 less victims of gunfire this year.”

“As our rookie officers came into maturity and finished their training, we folded them into the zones and cut back on the overtime,” said McCarthy. “We’re back to the levels that we’re doing before.”

McCarthy also says that paying overtime is cheaper than paying officers with full time benefits.
“Do we want to wait nine months to get these (new) officers on the street,” said McCarthy.  “We have these officers here, let’s use them now.”

McCarthy says there’s no risk of burning out his officers.

“The overtime is voluntary.. and based on seniority,” said McCarthy.  “Anybody who’s tired and doesn’t want to work overtime, they can pass it up because the younger guys want to do the overtime too.”

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