Victims of ‘non-threatening’ crimes such as burglaries, thefts, and simple assault in Chicago will no longer be visited by officers when they call 911.
Chicago police are now enforcing an austere new measure where officers are not dispatched to scenes where the offender has fled and where no one is in immediate danger.
The Windy City is in the middle of both a crime and budget crisis, with sprees of violence erupting, even as first responders are forced to drastically slash their budgets.
The Chicago Tribune reports that officers of the Chicago Police Department will no longer be dispatched to handle less dangerous crimes. The measures went into effect on Sunday.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that this dramatic shift would free up as many as 200 officers from compiling paperwork to being out on a beat.
McCarthy also said that unnecessary 911 calls – including reporting dogs barking and parents complaining their kids won’t eat their vegetables – are putting an unnecessary drain on the system.
He said that as it stands, Chicago officers respond to around 70 percent of 911 calls, as opposed to around 30 percent for other cities.
He said at a recent press conference: ‘I don’t mean to be flippant here, because I’ve been the victim of a burglary at least three or four times. I’d rather have the officer on the street, where he can prevent the shooting.’
The news comes as Chicago faces a violent crime epidemic, with nearly 50 homicides and 170 shootings already this year, and had 506 murders in 2012.