Chicago has registered more homicides than it did during all of last year. Now, says the Chicago Sun-Times, the city's police department is on pace to break an all-time record that could make it more difficult to stop the bloodshed: police retirements in a single year. Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields disclosed that the ranks of 2012 retirees will top 580, breaking the old record of 570 in 2004. Over the last decade, 4,178 city officers have retired from the force, an average of 417 a year. Equally troubling to Shields is the fact that the city has hired just 190 officers so far this year.
That means Chicago is falling behind when it comes to police manpower after a three-year hiring slowdown and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision to balance his first budget by eliminating more than 1,400 police vacancies, he said. “A lot of it has to do with morale and not being able to get time off,” he said. “You have to worry about getting sued every single time you put somebody under arrest. It’s really a different job than it was even 10 years ago. Fear of getting sued. Getting suspended. It’s a different era of policing. People are too quick to put the blame on Chicago Police officers.”