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$5 police fee raises questions

Julian Diggs was first line buy iPhone 5 Michigan Avenue Apple store Friday.  |  John H. White~Sun-Times

Julian Diggs was first in line to buy the iPhone 5 at the Michigan Avenue Apple store Friday. | John H. White~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 24, 2012 6:35AM



Ald. George Cardenas may have hit on a good idea that would help the vastly undermanned Chicago Police Department hire more officers. No question the department is dangerously short of manpower, and the alderman’s idea of a modest $5-a-month fee per every Chicago household is intriguing.

A few questions and some answers are needed before the debate begins. The alderman says the increase in police manpower would lead to more officers being free to return to specialized units, which he likes because they were highly effective in fighting gang violence on Chicago’s streets. One of the answers the alderman must seek first is from Supt. Garry McCarthy, who is on record against specialized units because he says they have an adverse effect on the community.

Would McCarthy free these officers from the confinement of the districts to return to do the jobs they did so effectively? How would business addresses be affected?

Would the $5 apply to one address only or the number of units in a building or high-rise or office building? After all, businesses and corporations also gain from police security. Lots of questions, but with some debate this could be one great idea.

Bob Angone, South Loop

Not a good idea, alderman

It seems Ald. George Cardenas (12th) wants to tax ComEd bills to hire more police! Not a good idea, alderman! Why not get more money and a more fair tax? Tax cellphone bills, that way an equitable amount of people would be paying another tax. Also, guarantee that the money would go directly to the police. Another day, another new tax!

Thomas Lally, Garfield Ridge

Dial down the jubilation

Are you kidding me? The top news story of the day shows a group waiting outside for days, jumping with joy that they are getting a new phone!

It’s a phone.

Frank Schmidt, Tinley Park



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