CHICAGO — Chicago is not only losing its battle against crime. It’s also losing its crime fighters.
Newly obtained numbers show Chicago lost 900 officers last year while graduating only 247 to replace them.
Former police officers point to a significant surge in resignations – 264 last year — as a sign the exodus is about more than officers calling it a career and retiring.
“What you have in effect, there is 264 people last year who said basically: ‘I don’t see a future with the Chicago police department. I don’t see a future in the City of Chicago. I’m going elsewhere,’” said retired chief of detectives Eugene Roy.
In October, WGN Investigates reported a surge in retirements and resignations even as Chicago’s top cop said the city wasn’t seeing as many departures as other cities across the country.
Suburban police forces have been the beneficiaries of Chicago’s loss, with many hiring cops trained on the city’s dime.
“I think it has more to do with support and really a feeling of being able to do the job,” Oak Brook police chief James Kruger said last fall.
The departures are draining the department. In 2018: Chicago had more than 13,000 police officers. Now that number is down to 11,845, a decline of 11%.