Black Aldermen Back Reassigning Officers
(Chicago Sun Times) — African-American aldermen said Thursday they’re all for interim Police Supt. Terry Hillard’s plan to reassign officers from specialized units to the patrol division — but only if those freed-up officers go to high-crime districts. Supt. Jody Weis resigned earlier this month before delivering on the police re-allocation he had promised. So the next best thing might be Hillard’s plan to siphon 100 officers from the 260-member Mobile Strike Force — and possibly pull officers from other specialized units such as one that focuses on seizing guns from gang members — the aldermen said. “We would prefer to have more police in the area on a regular basis than to have these paramilitary-type teams come in for a week or two, then leave. They don’t know the community. They don’t know the residents. They treat everybody like they’re a suspect or a criminal,” said Ald. Howard Brookins (21st). Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) agreed that specialized units temporarily assigned to high-crime areas sometimes do more harm than good.