Graham Calls On Aldermen To Support Police Hiring In Budget
As violent crime remains high throughout the city and manpower remains low, FOP President Kevin Graham strongly criticized aldermen who voted against a city budget that included hiring more police officers.
Graham’s statement comes in the wake of a city budget that included the hiring of 1,000 more officers but was opposed by four aldermen, among them Alderman John Arena from the 45th Ward.
While hiring 1,000 police officers would still not be enough, Graham said that the increased hiring of police officers was a step in the right direction for the city and the department.
“Our officers have their days off canceled, and we are still short. We are not keeping up with retirements and normal attrition rates. Alderman like Arena should be supporting the hiring of more manpower,” Graham said.
Arena’s lack of support for a budget that includes an increase in police hiring is particularly strange given the fact that so many officers live in Arena’s district, Graham said. Arena has no record of supporting an increase in police hiring through other means or through another budget proposal.
Arena is also facing strong criticism from constituents, as well as another alderman, for a 100-unit mixed-income apartment complex at 5150 N. Northwest Highway.
Nevertheless, with so many police officers in his district and crime rates so high, Graham said that Arena should explain why he didn’t support the budget or put forth a plan to put more police officers on the street.