CBS Chicago: During the Police Department’s budget hearing on Wednesday, Ald. James Balcer (11th) asked McCarthy, “Can you please tell me what is the difference about Chicago, and why we are seeing this level of violence?” “That’s a big picture question,” McCarthy said.
One factor he cited was the number of guns in Chicago – saying police seize more guns here than any other city in the nation. He said, in the first six months of 2012, Chicago police seized nine guns per capita for every gun seized in New York City. Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) asked McCarthy, “Can you help me understand what you believe to be full-strength?” “Full-strength” is a term McCarthy and the mayor have been using recently, when discussing the number of police officers they want on the street.
Emanuel and McCarthy said that means having 12,500 officers on the streets by the end of 2013. The mayor wasn’t ignoring the aldermen who want more cops than he’s already planning to hire, but said said at an unrelated event on Wednesday that he’ll keep the force at full strength while putting more cops on the street, by using about 600 officers he’s already shifted off desk duty since taking office last spring.
But Munoz and more than a dozen other aldermen said they want at least 13,000 officers on the streets by the end of next year.