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tion with the public. Yet the response from the Department has been breaking up tact teams to put those officers on patrol and breaking up specialized units that have been perhaps the best asset to check crime.
Now, with rumors that officers as- signed to 35th Street might go back to the beat just to show the public a stron- ger presence, is that really a viable man- power play?
“Again, you’re stealing from Peter to pay Paul,” Rivera asserts. “We’re so short- handed across the board that we just can’t keep up with the attrition.”
It definitely feels bleak
You have to be sentenced to Siberia or living in that compound on Wrightwood Avenue to not see what is fracturing the workforce. Canceling RDOs, especially at the 11th hour, of course fusses with officers’ family lives, whether it’s as sim- ple as time to run the errands of life or scheduling child care. And giving up days off because of the utter chaos of the Department just further pushes people to lateral.
Consider the chatter from Department leaders about how much they care about mental health and officers being sent to the officer wellness seminar. But does anything fuss with mental health more
than the stress of having to go months without an RDO? Many members read that as a sign that they don’t care at all.
Breaking it down to working condi- tions spotlights some of the happenings in 014. In the midst of Bucktown and near Logan Square, 014 covers an abundance of territory. Yet on midnights, there are times when just five cars are patrolling.
“I mean, you’re going on domestics, you’re on these traffic stops, and you used to have another car join you for safety,” Kilponen details. “Now, you don’t know
if there’s even a car available to back you up in case something goes south.”
Further investigation reveals that on one occasion, much of a watch in 014 was assigned to cover the mayor’s detail and her home on Wrightwood. And while that was taking place, just two cars were left to go 99 to cover the district.
“We’re already at a deficit because people are retiring at an alarming rate, they aren’t filling those spots and, under-

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