More cops will patrol parks, transit system to curb summer violence
BY FRANK MAIN Staff Reporter April 29, 2014 6:02PM
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy | Sun-Times files
Updated: June 1, 2014 6:38AM
The Chicago Police Department is getting ready to combat violence this summer with special overtime patrols in parks and public housing and on public transit, officials said Tuesday.
The partnership between police, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Chicago Housing Authority and the park district is part of what the city is calling the Summer Surge initiative.
Each agency will contribute to pay the overtime of 100 additional officers on weekdays, 200 on weekends and 300 on holiday weekends, a police spokesman said. Those agencies will help the police department determine where to deploy those officers, said Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
He said the program is being launched in stages and should be “fully operational” on June 1.
“This takes it to another level,” McCarthy said, pledging an “even more enhanced presence” on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.
In addition, the department has already cancelled days off on weekends for officers in tactical, saturation and gun units. They’ll work overtime on those cancelled days in high-crime districts, officials said.
Also, the department will continue to operate 20 “impact zones” in high-crime neighborhoods on the West and South Sides. Those zones, which represent a small fraction of the city, generate about 20 percent of the crime, police say. More than 300 officers work in those zones, including 120 veteran officers paid overtime. There also are 220 rookies whose regular shifts are in the zones.
The city has budgeted about $70 million for police overtime in 2013.