Garry McCarthy to testify about Chicago police levels - FOX 32 News Chicago

Garry McCarthy testifies about Chicago police levels

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy testified before the city council's budget committee Wednesday.

Aldermen wanted to know how the superintendent was going to bring down crime with a police force considered by some to be undermanned.

The mayor's budget proposal calls for hiring more police officers, but it may only be enough to keep up with the number of cops expected to retire next year. With the rise in violent crime this year, critics say the city needs better than the status quo.

"Our goal is not to displace or move crime, our goal is to eliminate crime at locations, " McCarthy said.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told Aldermen that Chicago's biggest problem is the number of guns on the streets, not the number of officers. He said most of those guns are coming from Cook County gun shops where straw purchasers make legal buys, but then sell the weapons to gangs. That, he said, needs to be addressed.

"There's no accountability in Illinois State law that says that you have to report a lost, theft or a transfer for your firearm, you have to report if you sell your car, but a firearm you don't have to," McCarthy continued.

But, some alderman believe the only way to turn around the rise in shootings and murders this year is with more cops--at least 500 more, according to Ricardo Munez.

"These shots fired, young men murdered in the middle of the week, in the evenings, in broad daylight, we can't accept that, and obviously with this force that we have now, we need to increase it because we need to prevent the crime not just react to it," says 22nd Ward Alderman Ricardo Munez.

McCarthy stressed that the key is having accountable commanders and officers who know the people on their beats. He pointed to the success in several high crime districts where officers have been redeployed.

"I've been an advocate for resource reallocation for a few years now and it sounds like the superintendent has taken steps to do reallocation in certain districts," says Ald. Anthony Beale of the 9th Ward. "But we need to do it throughout the entire city."

The Fraternal Order of Police what the city needs to do is reallocate the budget, not the officers.

"It's a matter of priority and it's a matter of not spending money on things that the citizens don't find as important as having enough Chicago police officers on the street," says FOP President Micahel Shields.

Under the Mayor's plans Chicago will hire about 400 police officers by the end of the year, and add another 400 to the ranks next year to offset those retiring.

McCarthy said his plan to put those officers where they are needed the most.

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