Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking for ways to slash tens of millions of dollars from the Chicago Police Department and already is running into heavy criticism from police union leaders who question whether it's all "a stunt."
Making those kind of major cuts likely would involve a two-pronged approach: ending the longtime budget charade of having a force of about 13,500 sworn officers on paper but always leaving more than 1,000 positions vacant and cutting layers of bureaucracy at police headquarters, according to a source familiar with the mayor's thinking.
The goal is to cut budget fat without reducing the current number of cops on the street or otherwise diminishing public safety, said Ald. Patrick O’Connor, 40th, the mayor’s closest City Council ally.
But Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields today called that type of approach “the Emanuel shuffle."
Shields said an Emanuel aide told him six days ago that the mayor did not have a target figure for cuts at the Police Department...more