Chicago police might be down 2,300 below authorized strength, but soon to be retired Chicago Mayor Daley thinks that his safety is so important that he should have five armed
bodyguards. It is nice to know that Daley continues to believe that guns are very important for his own and his family's personal protection. From the Chicago Sun-Times
Mayor Daley on Thursday defended his request to continue using Chicago Police officers as bodyguards after he leaves office — a courtesy that former Mayor Jane Byrne never received and considers unnecessary.
“There’s been threats all through my career. … The safety of my family comes first,” said Daley, who leaves office on May 16.
“I’ve been mayor for 22 years, and my wife has made a commitment [to the city]. … Former mayors received security appropriately. … It’s appropriate for every former mayor. Yes, it’s always appropriate.”
Daley refused to comment on reports that he had requested a pair of vehicles in political retirement — one for himself, the other for his wife, Maggie, who is battling breast cancer and remains hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. . . .
Byrne, Daley’s political arch rival, took issue with Daley’s claim that “former mayors received security appropriately.”
When Byrne was defeated in 1983 after serving a single term, she was neither offered nor received bodyguard protection — and that was just fine with her.
“I expected it to end, and it did. Once you leave, you leave. You have to take care of yourself. You’re no longer mayor,” Byrne said. . . .
Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields called the mayor’s request ill-timed when a two-year police hiring slowdown has left the Chicago Police Department more than 2,300 officers-a-day short of authorized strength, counting vacancies and officers on medical leave and limited duty.
“We have an extreme manpower shortage. The citizens of Chicago can feel that shortage. To ask for five bodyguards is ridiculously excessive,” Shields said.
“If the department were up to 13,500 officers, it would not be a problem. But officers are working in one-man cars. Police officers can’t go to weddings and family events because there is such a shortage.” . . .
Labels: Chicago, gunban