Days after a police officer was murdered in her hometown, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday pledged to increase police funding next year after it was cut amid calls for funding of the department.
“I expect the police department’s budget to increase, there’s no question about it. We have to do it, ”said Lightfoot during a press conference announcing its budget forecasts.
She gave no indication of how much she planned to increase the department’s $ 1.6 billion budget.
She only said that additional funds were needed to recruit the “next generation” of officers, as well as “to increase the resources devoted to the health and well-being of our police officers.”
“We need to make sure we continue to provide resources to recruit the next generation of police officers and ensure that we recruit in a way that reflects the diversity of the city,” she said.
The announcement comes after Lightfoot’s 2021 budget cut law enforcement spending by $ 58 million and cut around 600 vacancies as part of last year’s “Defund the Police” movement.
Lightfoot’s decision to increase police spending for next year follows the death of Constable Ella French, who was shot at close range while on duty – and as rates of crime continues to rise across the Windy City.
French, 29, was shot dead and her partner seriously injured after stopping a car on the south side of town on Saturday.
Emonte Morgan, 21, and his brother Eric Morgan, 22, both convicted of felons, have been charged in the blatant attack.
When Lightfoot visited the injured policeman in hospital within hours of the shooting, his fellow Chicago cops turned their backs on him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Local lawmakers told the outlet that progressive politics were to blame for the anti-police movement in the city and the brazen attacks on officers.
Meanwhile, the number of murders and shootings that have taken place in Chicago so far this year alone has already eclipsed crime rates in 2020, according to police department figures.
In the week ending August 9, the number of murders in Chicago increased 120% from the same period last year.
The number of shooting incidents in the past week has increased by 27% compared to last year.
There have already been 474 murders and 2,100 shootings this year alone, according to crime figures.