By now, you’ve likely heard of Chicago’s rising crime rate. After all, it’s on the news nightly. But what you might not know is exactly why those crime rates are going up so drastically. Or maybe you do.
In either case, it can all be laid at the feet of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Firstly, you might note that it was Lightfoot, above all others, who pushed to defund the police back in 2020, shortly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those like Lightfoot believed that police departments nationwide were corrupt and racist, preying on minorities and filling out jails and prisons with them.
Lightfoot, specifically, demanded that the city of Chicago defund its police forces by some $80 million that year.
And yet, at the same time, she hired her very own police protection force.
Yep, that’s right. While she was out announcing that Chicago’s police departments and its resources would be cut, she was making sure that her own home and person were protected by the very same individuals she was demonizing.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the police were eventually cut by $59 million. While not as much as Lightfoot had suggested, it was more than enough to restrict police movements and hiring rates and cause a massive retirement wave.
Meanwhile, Lightfoot made sure that no less than 20 armed bodyguards surrounded her at all times. After all, protests were going on and, of course, all sorts of other security threats that usually follow a government leader who continually only looks out for herself.
However, it is noted that her 20-man detail soon grew by another 71 after she hired a whopping 65 more officers, five sergeants, and one lieutenant to protect her. According to the UK Daily Mail, everyone she hired had to have at least five years of police experience. The Sun-Times noted they also had to swear to protect the mayor’s home, a command post for her, and city hall.
Basically, she had her very own police unit or force and even gave it a name, the Government Security Detail or Unit 544.
But make no mistake, these officers weren’t protecting anyone besides Lightfoot and those who she happened to be around at any given time.
Naturally, the rest of the police department is more than a little bitter about the whole thing.
As Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara has said, Lightfoot’s move to first defund the police and now to ensure her own personal protection has come at a huge cost. He said, “While murders are soaring, while districts are barebones for manpower, all that matters is protecting her castle.”
According to 2016 data from governing.com, each population of 10,000 Chicagoans had about 43.9 officers at their disposal. If population and police numbers were still what they were then, it would mean that Lightfoot’s personal protection addition of 71 could be used to protect some 16,000 residents of the Windy City. Of course, as you well know, populations grow. Oh, and we can’t forget that thanks to Lightfoot’s defund the police push, as well as her demands for all law enforcement to be vaccinated, the CPD has some of the lowest personnel numbers on record.
It doesn’t help that she’s also pretty much accused the Fraternal Order of Police of attempting to “induce an insurrection” over her vaccine demands. Naturally, this has caused some rather severe morale issues. After all, who would want to work in an industry or a city where you are demonized and despised by those who are supposed to uplift and support you?
According to the Daily Mail, some 660 police retired in 2021, doubling the rate at which police retired as of 2018. And it doesn’t look like this year will be any better. Now, Lightfoot has done a 180 on her position on defunding the police, and she has even asked US Attorney General Merrick Garland to send her reinforcements in the form of ATF agents to help with the increasing murder rate in the city.
But for many, it’s simply too little too late, especially since she still insists on being personally guarded while the rest of the city has to do without.