Katko, Davis Share Chicago Police Roundtable Takeaways
CHICAGO, IL – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Ranking Member of the House Administration Committee, held a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement leaders in Chicago, IL. Katko and Davis heard directly from officers about the challenges they are facing, including rising crime, record attrition rates, low recruitment, and the current anti-police environment.
“Across the country, we’re seeing the dangerous consequences of policies that protect criminals and persecute cops, and Chicago is no exception,” said Ranking Member Katko, Chair of the American Security Task Force. “As a former federal organized crime prosecutor, I’m incredibly proud of the work our law enforcement officers do under increasingly challenging circumstances. Despite what we’ve heard from Democrats, defunding and dismantling the police will never solve the problems our communities face. We need more officers on the streets, not fewer, to address violent crime and help people feel safe in their own homes. I appreciate Rep. Davis for joining me for this important conversation in Chicago, and I’m committed to working with him and the American Security Task Force to develop real solutions to support our law enforcement officers and improve public safety.”
“It was an honor to join Illinois law enforcement labor leaders yesterday in Chicago and hear directly from them about the issues their members face,” said Rep. Davis. “Whether it’s the rise in violent crime or open hostility from elected officials, the men and women of law enforcement have an increasingly tough and dangerous job. It’s clear the anti-police agenda the Democrats are pushing isn’t working. Our police need elected officials to have their backs. That’s how we promote public safety and reduce crime. Thanks to Ranking Member Katko for coming to Illinois to highlight our state’s public safety challenges and thanks to the members of the Illinois law enforcement community for all you do, especially in these difficult times for your profession.”
- Officers are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming violence in the city. Many times, police are unable to respond to 911 calls due to staffing shortages. They’ve stopped responding to some crimes altogether. When police are dispatched, response times are much slower than they should be. Criminals use this to their advantage and are often able to flee the scene before police arrive.
- Some cities are defunding the police in a different way – in Chicago, they “make the job so miserable” that officers choose to leave the force on their own. Vacant positions are hardly ever filled – causing a real security crisis in one of America’s largest cities.
- Officers are leaving the force in record numbers. Chicago Police Department (CPD) lost almost 1,000 officers in 2021 and expects to lose 1,300 officers in 2022. With only 47 officers in the current cadet class, there’s no way to fill this hole. Veteran officers don’t blame people for pursuing other professions – it’s hard to be a cop in such a hostile environment.
- State troopers are being deployed to Chicago for two weeks at a time to help manage surging crime.
- Sanctuary policies have dangerous consequences. Local ordinances in Chicago mandate that officers can have no contact with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Officers could potentially face a 30-day suspension for communicating with ICE regarding drug busts, gang activity, etc. Illinois state law also limits local law enforcement collaboration with ICE.
- We are a nation of laws, and those laws must be enforced. Politically-motivated prosecutors who fail to do their jobs need to be held accountable. Local elections matter and have ripple effects throughout the city, state, and country.
As head of the American Security Task Force, Katko has held police roundtables in New York City, Portland, Austin, Syracuse and now Chicago. A key mission of the task force is identifying challenges facing our nation’s law enforcement and working together to make communities safer.
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Author: Mary Croghan