Police staffing falls on West Side, citywide

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A recent Chicago Sun-Times analysis of city data found that police staffing in the 15th District has declined in the last year, along with many others across the city.

In September 2011, the data showed Austin’s district had 296 beat cops, up from 280 at the beginning of 2011. That number has decreased to 270 as of October 2012. Citywide the number has dropped from 6,746 beat cops at the beginning of 2011 to 6,638 as of Oct. 15, 2012.

The reason, the Sun-Times found, is that for every one new cop hired, six more have retired.

In an attempt to increase the number of police in areas prone to violence, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois with Austin advocates filed a lawsuit against the city in 2011. The court sided with city, the Sun-Times reported, stating the issue is up to voters to address, not the court. The ACLU and advocates disagree and have appealed the decision.

“They should put the police where there’s a crisis, where you’re more likely to get killed or shot,” said Seretha Reid, one of the activists suing the city told the Sun-Times. “It shouldn’t be based on geography or political power.”

Read “Rahm Emanuel’s police deployment shuffle” by Sun-Times staff reporters Dan Mihalopoulos and Frank Main for the entire story.

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