During his campaign, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that "reducing the violent crime rate in neighborhoods is the key to their economic turnaround," and he also "announced that he will add 250 police officers to focus on crime in and around TIF areas of the city if he becomes mayor" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-ormsby/rahm-emanuel-wants-cops-m_b_786947.html
as well as http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2010/11/21/emanuel-would-use-tif-funds-to-hire-cops/
Understandably, Mayor Emanuel stepped into office with many tasks to accomplish, budget items to address, crime issues to face and other responsibilities. Naturally, all of these issues warrant attention at some point, but as the safety of citizens continues to decrease, certain items must go on the back burner.
TIF money has been promised to be set aside for additional police officers to hit the streets, and the amount promised is but a slice of the larger pool of TIF funds available. Regardless of percentage of TIF funds additional officers would require, the money is there and should be used per citizens' requests and, most importantly, needs.
Prior to the more recent mob attacks in Lakeview and the Streeterville/Gold Coast area, Chicago as a whole faced significant crime and violence issues that required action and solvency mechanisms to be put into place. As more and more Chicago-area residents become concerned for their safety in the neighborhoods they visit and those they live in, it's essential that we raise our collective voice to encourage Mayor Emanuel to not only hold to his promise but to fulfill the wishes of those who elected him.
There are many solutions Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and Cmdr. Kathleen Boehmer along with the Chicago Police Department are evaluating options to increase safety measures and decrease crime (as well they should), and this petition is not suggesting that Ald. Tunney and Cmdr. Boehmer's aforementioned processes be replaced, altered, decreased or changed; rather, our hope is that Mayor Emanuel can deliver on his promises and help the communities--Lakeview and other neighborhoods in the Chicago area--maintain the security of their residents and visitors as intended.
This is only a small step in the right direction of increasing funding for public services such as police protection. This petition is intended to demonstrate to Mayor Emanuel as well as other elected officials in the greater Chicagoland area that safety is a priority to us as citizens, and we expect those whom we put into office to deliver in protecting that priority.
Sign the petition and encourage Mayor Emanuel to reach a target of 1,000 additional police officers on the streets of Chicago to protect you, your families and your friends.
We the undersigned understand and respect your desire to address multiple needs and requests of the citizens of Chicago in a time of difficulty, particularly financially.
As you had outlined during your campaign, TIF dollars are available to spend on necessary services, and the safety of your citizens--our fellow citizens--is decreasing.
We urge you and your committee to expedite the consideration of TIF fund expenditures and to include a disbursement to expand the Chicago Police Department's officer force by 1,000 to address the growing concern and needs of the citizens of Chicago.
We appreciate the amount of responsibility you have undertaken in leading our city of Chicago. Safety and security keep citizens alive and in Chicago, and it is our hope that you consider at length the importance of securing the safety of our future generations.
Thank you for taking the time to review our petition proposal, and we look forward to hearing from you.