As police Supt. Jody Weis returns to the hot seat during a City Council budget hearing today, Chicago is outpacing New York and Los Angeles in 2008 murders.
Chicago, whose population is dwarfed by those cities, posted 426 killings through Tuesday, compared with 417 in New York and 302 in L.A.
» Click to enlarge image
Police Supt. Jody Weis has said officers fear lawsuits and complaints and have “a degree of timidness.” The city’s murder tally as of Tuesday was 426.
Off-duty cop slashed in River North
Search the salaries of city, county, state employees
At the end of 1998, Chicago made international headlines as the U.S. "murder capital" after surpassing New York's homicide totals for the first time ever. Chicago shed that dubious distinction when murders plummeted over the last decade.
In 1998, there were about 700 murders here. Chicago is on pace to exceed 500 murders by the end of 2008.
Weis, a career FBI agent, took office this year with a mandate to clean up the department in the wake of several scandals. But murders have risen, and arrests have fallen, on his watch. (Murder is also up, at a lower rate, in New York.)
Under tough questioning at a Council hearing in July, Weis suggested there was a "degree of timidness" among officers afraid of having lawsuits and citizen complaints filed against them.
At today's hearing, Weis may highlight what police view as a different problem: Officers have spent nearly 5,000 hours filling out inventory forms in the first nine months of 2008. "We'd rather they be on the street," said Beatrice Cuello, deputy superintendent of patrol.
Last year, the Cook County sheriff, who runs the jail, stopped inventorying arrestees' property. Under an agreement with the Police Department, cops took over the task.
"It's not our responsibility," said Steve Patterson, a spokesman for Sheriff Tom Dart. "We had an entire room filled with property
I hope the number keeps going up . I really don't care let them kill each other more air for me . They were not going to contribute to society anyway.
44 minutes ago