Has this woman no shame?
Or at least a sense of irony?
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2020 called for cutting $80 million from the city’s police budget, but at the same time recruited police officers for her own personal protection, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The police budget cut eventually totaled $59 million, but cops are retiring at a higher rate and crime is skyrocketing in Chicago, reported the UK’s Daily Mail.
A ‘defund the police‘ advocate, Lightfoot initially had a 20-man bodyguard detail. That would be reasonable for a public figure in an urban area, given protests and other possible security issues.
But in the midst of cutting the police budget, Lightfoot recruited and put together an additional 65 police officers, along with five sergeants and a lieutenant, for a special unit called the Government Security Detail.
That’s a lot of cops off the street to protect just one person.
Governing.com data from 2016 show Chicago had about 43.9 officers per 10,000 population. Leaving the mayor with her 20 bodyguards, at the 43.9 rate, the remaining 71 officers could be serving over 16,000 Chicagoans instead of just Lightfoot.
Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara said Lightfoot’s protection comes at the cost of public safety, according to the Sun-Times.
“While murders are soaring, while districts are barebones for manpower, all that matters is protecting her castle,” Catanzara said.
There’s been bad blood between Lightfoot and Catanzara’s organization, much of it centered on vaccine mandates. In October, Lightfoot accused the Fraternal Order of Police of attempting to “induce an insurrection” over the issue.
— Forbes (@Forbes) October 18, 2021
The vaccine mandates may be a reason the number of police who retired – 660 – was double in 2021 compared with 2018, the Daily Mail said.
Despite efforts to reverse police budget cuts, Lightfoot’s actions have caused morale problems, Dagen McDowell of Fox Business said in September.
“It’s very difficult to reverse harm done by the demonization of law enforcement officers. The demonization has the same effect as defunding the police departments in the sense of it makes it difficult for police officers to do their jobs,” McDowell said.
“It discourages good people from joining [police] forces across the country and caused a wave of retirements across the country in the last year and a half or so.”
Lightfoot has reversed her defund the police advocacy, and has asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to send Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents to Chicago to aid in offsetting the growing murder rate.
But she has not made an attempt to reduce the 71 additional officers assigned to her. Recruitment for them began two years ago in developing what was called Unit 544, consisting of police with at least five years of experience, the Daily Mail said.
The recruiting effort was in the middle of a crime wave caused by COVID lockdowns, the Sun-Times said. A memo regarding Unit 544 said it would be used to protect the city hall, the mayor’s residence and a command post for the mayor.
Even before the launching of Unit 544, Lightfoot had extra police moved from several neighborhoods to be sentries near her home. Individuals in the affected neighborhoods noted the decline in the number of police as crime was spurred by lockdowns and economic issues stemming from COVID.
Ironically, the mayor believed she needed added protection due to protests over her defunding of the police. She also cited protests regarding vaccine mandates for city workers.
And, in true Democrat form, she has blamed former President Donald Trump for her troubles. “When the president of the United States uses the world’s largest megaphone and platform to target you personally, terrible things happen.
“And he not only blew a dog whistle, he pointed really evil and dangerous people right at my doorstep,” she said.
An armed man angry about parking tickets came near Lightfoot’s home several times in February and was eventually arrested for stalking and reckless discharge of a weapon, according to the Sun-Times.
Visibly shaken, Lightfoot expressed gratitude for police protection following the incidents with the man, Joseph Igartua.
Of course, it’s commendable that police were able to protect the mayor; however, a 20-person bodyguard detail ought to be sufficient for basic security, with extra police brought in for specific threats or incidents, much like police might provide extra patrols to a house where there has been expression of a threat.
But a 71-person personal police force seems a bit much.
Especially when you’ve had issues with the police in the first place.
Ultimately, Lightfoot’s initial budget cuts were part of an overall anti-police wave on the part of Democrats.
Replacing cops with social workers or whatever may seem like a nice academic theory. And it might have been an effective vote-getter from the hard-left wing of the party.
But it doesn’t work.
There’s a real world out there and it’s sad to see a once-great city like Chicago sinking into the pits of crime, which perhaps can be compared to its Prohibition gangster days of nearly a hundred years ago.
At least Lori Lightfoot has her own police force.
But what about the rest of Chicago? Don’t they deserve protection, too?