CHICAGO — U.S. Rep. and Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” García (D-District 4) sharply criticized the city’s mayor and police superintendent as he unveiled his plan to reduce crime.
Among the measures include eliminating citywide policing teams in favor of district patrols and replacing Superintendent David Brown with a police commander from Chicago.
“I will make violence reduction a goal and commit to measurable outcomes,” García said at Chicago’s City Club. “The city needs a deputy mayor of public safety and an office of violence reduction that are properly staffed, and led by individuals with violence intervention experience.”
That is trained civilians who can tamp down the violence before it happens. García also wants to boost police patrols.
“We want to increase patrols by hiring civilians into the desk jobs currently filled by sworn officers,” García said.
The plan also includes incentives to recruit new officers and retain existing cops. García said officers deserve a reliable schedule, stability on the job and proper access to mental health care.
García pressed to accelerate long overdue police reforms mandated by the 2018 federal consent decree. He said only 28 of the 552 reforms have been completed.
But the progressive candidate for Chicago mayor had a message for many in the community, distrustful due to a history of negative experiences when it comes to the police.
“Yes, we have to hold police accountable, but we cannot treat them like the enemy and expect things to get better,” García said.
García pointed to what he described as failed strategies by Brown as to why he is no longer trusted by the officers he leads.
In response, Lightfoot’s campaign said García’s plan and ideas are “so familiar they could have been pasted from the Mayor’s own Safer Chicago Plan.”
Lightfoot’s campaign also highlighted several things the mayor for public safety.