CHICAGO — For almost seven hours, Chicago police Supt. David Brown was in the hot seat, fielding questions from city council members.
During Friday’s City Council committee on budget and government operations, the Chicago Police Department and the city’s Board of Ethics defended their 2023 budget proposals.
Among the topics discussed were the police department’s efforts in addressing and ensuring public safety.
City council members brought up challenges the department faces with retention. Recent trends have seen officers leave and join the force in neighboring towns for competitive pay.
Like last year, $100 million was allocated for overtime. Some aldermen wondered about the decision not to bump up the given amount.
“We don’t have enough context to really overset what is the real number of overtime year-to-year. I think we’ll soon have that context,” Brown said. “I’m confident we’re going to fill our ranks.”
Council members also asked the department about an officer who was investigated for his alleged affiliation with a white nationalist organization and given a 120-day suspension.
“We mediated a very high level of discipline,” Brown responded. “One hundred and twenty days is a high level of disciple for what we were able to prove. We were not able to prove by a preponderance of evidence that this officer was a member of or was associated with Proud Boys or any other hate group and that is the legal standard.”
Should new evidence surface, Brown said the department would revisit the matter.
Also discussed were crime and violence on CTA trains and buses. This upcoming year, the budget for officers assigned to patrol that sector is increasing from $10.7 million to $30 million.