Chicago Suffering Officer Shortage, Can’t Find Recruits: ‘People Don’t Want To Be The Police’

DM

The Chicago Police Department is engaged in a nationwide campaign to recruit police officers, but the city is still suffering from an “officer shortage.” With officers retiring and transferring to smaller departments, Chicago appears to be down nearly 1,600 officers. “Chicago police officers aren’t only retiring in record numbers, many are leaving the big city department for smaller ones,” the city’s CBS affiliate reported Tuesday. “It’s contributing to an officer shortage that many city leaders believe will only get worse before it gets better.” Officers who spoke to CBS Chicago noted that the problems go beyond simple burnout, though that is a contributing factor to many officers’ decision to leave the department. Officers cited long working hours, mandatory overtime, and low pay as reasons they departed Chicago for other cities or decided to simply leave the force entirely. At least one Alderman, though, added that being a Chicago cop is a thankless job, and it has only gotten harder in recent years. “People don’t want to be the police. The police don’t want to be the police,” Alderman Anthony Beale of Chicago’s 9th Ward told the paper, adding that the problem is actually worse than the city will admit.

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