Emanuel Misleads Public About Police

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Emanuel Misleads Public About Police
By RAY HANANIA • Friday, June 29, 2012
Southwest News-Herald Newspaper
Clearly, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking the cheap way to save money, the one where it looks like he is cutting back but where he is doing damage to the city’s interests.

One of the hardest hit is the Chicago Police Department, cutbacks that Fraternal Order of Police Spokesman Pat Camden spelled out this past weekend on radio.

The bottom line is that crime is up in Chicago and it has a lot to do with the fact that Emanuel broke one of his key promises, to hire more cops.

Instead of hiring more police to put on the street, Emanuel is cutting them back and he has his appointee Police Chief Garry McCarthy doing his dirty work.

There are not enough police to do the job in Chicago and people living in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are paying a steep price, many with their lives.

Camden has a long history with the Chicago police, joining in the early 1970s. He later became Police Spokesman but left when Jodi Weis was named chief by Mayor Daley in 2008. Last year, he joined the FOP, the nation’s largest police union.

“When Mayor Emanuel first came in, he promised to add 1000 more police to the police department. What he did was to take 700 police officers already working on the streets of Chicago assigned to gangs and guns and turned them into officers. About 300 of the thousand were in administration. That gave him his thousand,” Camden explained Sunday on Radio Chicagoland.

“When questioned that he was going to add, he said he did add but he didn’t mean new. Basically all he did was take police officers who were pro-active against violence and made them reactive and put them in police beat cars.”

Emanuel has been shifting police and playing with the statistics.

“In the past two years, we have had about 1,000 police officers retire. Which is about par for the course. We lose about 50 a month. But, during the same period, we only hired 150. So you can see the shortage right there,” Camden said.

“With the stroke of a pen, they eliminated 1,200 positions and took them out of the budget. They said they are not going to hire them.”

McCarthy says it is a matter of perception. The FOP says it is a matter of reality.

“Some people argue that more policemen means less crime. And they are right,” Camden argues.

“We don’t have the necessary numbers for the police to be pro-active. Violence isn’t only on the West Side and the South Side. It is moving into the business districts of the city. Why are they moving there? Because of the economics. We are dealing with elements in our society that have absolutely no respect for anyone except themselves.”

Back in the 1980s, there were more than 15,000 police working for Chicago. Mayor Daley began cutting back police to save money and today Chicago police are more than 2,500 below needed staffing. But Emanuel is fudging with the numbers to allow him to cut $200 million from police spending without anyone noticing. But we are noticing.

The issue is that no matter how many police Chicago hires, they can’t beat street gangs unless the public gets behind the campaign fully.

But the public under Emanuel lacks confidence. And the ranks of the police department have been decimated.

Emanuel doesn’t care about the police. All he does care about is money and politics.

(Catch Ray Hanania on radio Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. on WSBC AM 1240 and WCFJ AM 1470. http://www.RadioChicagoland.com.) — City & Suburban News-Herald

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com