CHICAGO — With more off days being canceled for CPD officers, one alderman introduced an ordinance to help with recruiting.
Ald. Matt O’Shea said the Chicago Police Department is in a staffing crisis.
There are currently 11,680 officers on the force — comparted to around 13,000 two years ago. With more than 1,300 vacancies, O’Shea said CPD is having difficulties recruiting new officers.
“We’re seeing record numbers of retirements, approaching age of 63 with 30 years of service, we’re seeing officers leave to go to suburban departments or just get out of law enforcement,” he said. “They’re literally running for the exits.”
The mother of a new CPD officer told WGN News her 22-year-old son is already working a large amount of overtime.
“Oftentimes, (family) are like ‘where’s Christopher? he’s not there,'” Carisa Parker said. “After a while, no matter how much you love your job, you’re just exhausted.”
On Wednesday, O’Shea introduced a new ordinance that would offer more financial incentives. New hires would receive a $5,000 signing bonus and transfers with experience would receive a $10,000 bonus.
Or, officers could choose a $10,000 payment assistance toward the purchase of their first home. Three million dollars would be set aide from the city’s affordable housing opportunity fund. Signing bonuses would cost $7.5 million.
So far, 35 of the city’s 50 aldermen have signed on to co-sponsor the ordinance.
“Anyone who would oppose this would not turn down more police in their community and when the circus really starts this summer they’ll be in this building screaming yelling and begging for more police officers,” O’Shea said.
The ordinance also includes a matching program for public safety cameras.