Earlier today Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy issued a statement on the merger of the 19th and 23rd Police Districts. Here is his statement in its entirety.
Since my appointment as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, I have sought to streamline operations and create a more efficient Department while maintaining the high level of police service and professionalism for which this Department is known. Every change has been made with the dual purpose of giving officers what they need to do their jobs safely, efficiently, and to the best of their abilities, as well as providing for the safety of our communities and the people of this city.
Initial changes included eliminating levels in the command structure and restoring the position of First Deputy Superintendent. Several additional changes were announced in Mayor Emanuel’s 2012 proposed budget notably that over the course of the next few months, the Department will undergo a major restructuring. Among the changes is the merger of several Police and Fire specialized units, the relocation of CFD administrative offices into CPD headquarters, and the consolidation of area commands, patrol districts and detective areas. The proposed budget also provides for the hiring of two classes of recruits in 2012.
Following the restructure, the Department will consist of three Area commands: North, Central and South, and the Wood (13th), Belmont (19th) and Prairie (21st) Districts will be consolidated as follows: Wood (13th) will be consolidated with the Monroe (12th) District; Belmont (19th) will be consolidated with the Town Hall (23rd) District; and Prairie (21st) will be consolidated with the Central (1st) and Wentworth (2nd) Districts. It has not yet been determined how the Area buildings will be consolidated.
This consolidation plan will create a strong and sustainable organizational structure, allowing officers to perform their duties more effectively and with less bureaucracy. Additional officers will be freed up by the merger of administrative functions meaning more boots on the ground working in districts.
At this time, there are several items that remain undetermined, including the timeline for implementation. Discussions about this are ongoing.
I am confident that this reorganization will help us continue the crime reductions we have achieved in recent months and will increase public safety within our communities.
As part of the budget process, the City Council will review the Mayor’s proposed budget over the course of the next few weeks. During this time, I will present the Department’s budget to the Budget Committee and outline its merits and the public safety advances we will achieve with its implementation.
I will do my best to keep Department members informed as the process moves forward and details are finalized. This is an exciting time for the Chicago Police Department and I am proud to share in it with all of you.