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Chicago police overtime cost $104M in 2013

Friday, February 07, 2014
Chicago police overtime cost $104M in 2013 CPD overtime questioned

The city of Chicago spent more than $100 million on police overtime in 2013, including 107 officers who collected more than $50,000 each in overtime.

The mayor and police superintendent say the most important numbers are the falling citywide crime stats. They say money for overtime is well spent and more Chicago cops are on the street today than three years ago.

"We've increased the headcount of police officers by 220," McCarthy said.

McCarthy spoke as Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who in 2011 promised 1,000 additional beat cops, left the police graduation without taking questions.

While not holding to the 1,000 number, McCarthy insisted the department is hiring new officers at a rate faster than old ones retire.

"So not only are we not, not keeping up with attrition but we are surpassing it," he said.

Despite his adequate staffing claim, the superintendent acknowledged city taxpayers paid over $100 million for police overtime last year.

"Overtime is distributed based on seniority," said McCarthy. "It's also voluntary. It's not like we're ordering people to go and do a ton of overtime."

In his speech, the mayor cited crime statistics as his bottom line.

"We had a record reduction in crime last year," Emanuel said.

Meanwhile, McCarthy said the department is "in discussions" about the payment of $4.5 million to the family of Freddie Wilson, shot 18 times and killed by police in 2007. Plaintiff's attorneys contended the victim was unarmed and that cops planted a gun near the body.

"They had to create a story in order to justify the shooting 18 times an innocent man was killed," said Wilson family attorney Antonio Romanucci.

While not dismissing the planted gun allegation, McCarthy noted detectives, the internal affairs division and the independent police review agency all ruled the shooting justifiable.

"That case was investigated three separate ways and every single determination is was that the officers acted legally," he said.

McCarthy did not indicate there would be any follow-up investigation of police conduct in the Wilson.

The city lost a multi-million dollar judgment last year in the Aaron Harrison police shooting case in which plaintiff's attorneys also alleged cops planted a gun near the victim.

No follow-up investigation in that case either.

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