The city will install 100 more neighborhood safety cameras across Chicago in the next year and assign 100 more Chicago Police Department officers to street duty, Mayor Richard M. Daley said today.
"We all know that the fight against gangs, guns and drugs is ongoing. It's a battle we must continue to fight even in these tough financial times," Daley said in announcing two initiatives that will be included in his 2008 budget proposal, which will be unveiled October 10.
The cameras to be purchased will bring to 559 the total of neighborhood safety cameras installed in Chicago neighborhoods since 2004.
"When we first began to install them, many people were skeptical. But, the community began to see their worth as they effectively dispersed wrongdoers who knew their activities were being recorded."
"People want these cameras in their neighborhoods. A camera is the next best thing to having a police officer on the street," Daley said.
The mayor also announced that the proposed budget calls upon the Chicago Police Department to increase its street presence by 100 officers in the coming year.
This will be done by hiring 50 new officers for street duty and by assigning to street duty 50 officers currently on desk duty.
Daley said he has also asked the police department to hire 50 more officers for street duty in its 2009 budget, which will be submitted a year from now.
"One hundred more officers on street duty will give us the ability to ability to fight crime, dismantle gangs and drugs, and build upon the innovative strategies to continue to reduce the number of murders and shootings that plague our communities," Daley said.
"Taken together, these steps reflect our commitment to do all we can to end the violence that still pervades too many of our neighborhoods. A strong police presence on the streets is one important way to achieve that goal," he said.