16th (Jefferson Park) Police District tactical team detailed to West Side last weekend
by BRIAN NADIG
Last weekend the 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District’s tactical team was detailed to the West Side, reportedly leaving the district without tactical officers on one of the evenings.
A Chicago Police Department spokeswoman said that "it was a one-time event and not meant to be a permanent" detailing out.
On Nov. 1 and 2, eight 16th District tactical officers and a sergeant were sent to work in the 11th (Harrison) District from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
On Friday night, the 16th District was able to bring in four tactical officers who were paid overtime to work on their day off, but on Saturday evening there reportedly were no tactical officers working in the district.
In addition, there are reports that due to a shortage of officers on the 16th District’s night team, the day teams were depleted so that the district could send an eight-member team to the 11th District.
Aldermen Nicholas Sposato (38th) said that he talked to the department on behalf of the seven aldermen whose wards are in the 16th District and told police officials that "we didn’t want it to happen again." He added that he was assured there were no plans to do so again.
"It’s the first time it’s happened in a long time, (but) it’s absolutely not fair. … We have crime here, and we pay taxes," Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) said.
"The 11th District has 411 officers to our 230 or 240, and now you’re pulling our resources and putting our tactical over there," Napolitano said. If the department needs more officers in the 11th District, it should be hiring more officers or paying overtime to existing officers in that district, he said.
Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) said that he raised the issue of the tactical team with Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a City Council hearing. "There is crime on the Northwest Side," Gardiner said. "You can’t start taking our tactical team."
Gardiner said that the 16th District is the largest district in the city and is significantly understaffed compared to the next two largest districts in the city. "I argued for more officers," he said.