UPDATE: 19th District Comm. John Kenny rumored for Commander spot. See below
According to a closed-door briefing given to alderman after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2012 budget speech this morning, the 19th and 23rd Police Districts will merge into the new 23rd District station building at 850 W. Addison St. The Area Three Detectives Unit will remain at Belmont and Western Avenues, and will retain their current lockup facility. In addition, the new 19th and 23rd Districts’ beat map will be realigned.
“The total number of officers in the district will stay in place, non-sworn personnel working in the district will be reduced and there will be more sworn officers on the street. There will also be the same number of [patrol] cars,” said 44th Ward Deputy Alderman Bennett Lawson.
“It’s a larger area to patrol, but it still isn’t the largest geographically in the city. No word on who would be commander [of the combined district].”
Update (6:48 p.m.): Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) says it seems like the city is moving to put 19th District Commander John Kennyat the head of the new “super district” combining the 19th and 23rd Districts. “I think temporarily it will be Kenny,” said Waguepack, who was briefed by Chicago Police officials this afternoon. “They were hinting it will be 19th over 23 and 13th [District] over 12. They weren’t specific about it, but that’s what it sounded to me. He is trying to find other lieutenants and captains who can move up the ranks and shuffle his command staff.”
There is no word on how current 23rd District Commander Kathleen Boehmer would be reassigned.
Ald. Waguespack reports the Police Department is claiming $5 million of savings per year for each closed district station. Also, Superintendent Garry McCarthy has committed to holding community meetings in the soon-to-be-closed 19th District station at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. to detail the proposed changes.
“We’re trying to have the commander come in with all the maps and detail all the saving they’re going to have with the patrols and all that,” said Waguespack.
As for beat map realignment, Ald. Waguespack is wary about the timing. “The question is, are you going to do that before [aldermanic] redistricting or after?”