To: Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent, and Tom Tunney, 44th Ward Alderman

Return 164 police officers to Chicago's 44th Ward

The residents of the 44th Ward respectfully request that the 19th Police District staffing be returned to its full force. Prior to the 2011 consolidation of the 19th and 23rd districts, there were 463 police officers, which was barely enough to cover the two districts. We currently have 299 police officers, which is a 35% reduction.

Why is this important?

The 19th and 23rd districts were combined in 2011. The 19th district had a staffing of 249 officers while the 23rd district had a staffing of 214. With the consolidation of these two districts, staffing decreased to 356. In addition, 57 police officers are detailed out to other jobs, which leaves the 19th district with only 299 officers. From 2011 to 2013 overall citywide police staffing dropped by less than 7%. In the 44th Ward we had a decrease of 35%. There is a vast difference between citywide and 44th ward decreases of manpower with no explanation.

The 19th district is a well known entertainment district. It is the home of the historic Wrigley Field, the lively Clark Street tavern and food district, the historic gay community, most commonly known as "Boystown” with its 30 liquor licensed establishments, and most importantly, it is our HOME.

Crime dominates the daily news in the 44th Ward and countless crimes go unreported because residents have given up on reporting, therefore the distorted low crime rate. The perception of an unsafe neighborhood is pervasive and is a detriment to our community. Please see articles and on crimes in the Lakeview neighborhood. The residents of 44th Ward are grateful for our distinguished police commander, District Commander Elias Voulgarus, and his continued tireless dedication to the neighborhood. However, the faces of our Commander, his police officers, and the residents of the 44th Ward show the daily frustration due to the lack of sworn officers. The true crime increase in the 44th ward is directly related to the decrease in police staffing which also decreased our quality of life.

While the manpower statistics speak for themselves, perception is stronger than reality and we feel unsafe. Please return our full appointment of police to our district.