Chicago Alderman Proposes Residents And Businesses Pay ‘Safety And Security Fee’ To Hire More Police
Many Chicagoans will be wondering what they’re paying taxes for after hearing about a proposed “fee” to hire more police officers. Fran Spielman wrote on the Chicago Sun-Times website this morning:
Chicago should impose a “safety and security fee” — as high as $5 a month on homes and businesses — to generate the $70 million needed to hire 700 additional police officers, an influential alderman said Thursday.
Ald. George Cardenas (12th), chairman of the City Council’s Health Committee, said Chicago desperately needs a surge in police hiring to ease a severe manpower shortage that has hamstrung the city’s ability to stop a surge in homicides and shootings.
If a $5 “safety and security fee” was tacked on to the monthly electric bill of Commonwealth Edison’s one million residential and 170,000 business customers and remitted to the city, it would generate the $70 million needed to bolster the force by 700 officers and bolster community policing, Cardenas said.
Chicago residents may already be familiar with Alderman Cardenas because of his proposed taxes on bottled water and sugary drinks.
According to Susanna Song on the website of Chicago CBS affiliate Channel 2 this morning:
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields praised the idea, and said the police force is suffering from a critical manpower shortage that is getting worse.
“The attrition rate over the last 3 1/2 years has been about 4.5 to 1, so about 4.5 officers who retired for every one officer who is hired,” Shield said. “The crime rate is going up. The manpower is going down.”
Murders are up 24.5 percent and shootings are up 10 percent compared to this time last year.
Spielman, Fran. “Alderman proposes $5-a-month ‘safety and security fee’ to pay for 700 more cops.” Chicago Sun-Times. 21 Sep. 2012. (http://www.suntimes.com/15277823-761/alderman-proposes-5-a-month-safety-and-security-fee-to-pay-for-700-more-cops.html). 21 Sep. 2012.
Song, Susanna. “Alderman Wants Fee On Electric Bills To Fund Hiring Of New Police Officers.” Channel 2 Chicago. 21 Sep. 2012. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/21/report-alderman-wants-fee-on-electric-bills-to-fund-hiring-of-new-police-officers/). 21 Sep. 2012.
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