Days after a police officer was murdered in her city, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot vowed Wednesday to boost police funding next year after it was slashed amid calls to defund the department.
“It’s my expectation that the police department budget will increase, no question. We have to,” Lightfoot said at a press conference announcing her budget forecast.
She gave no indication of how much she plans to increase the department’s $1.6 billion budget.
She only said additional funds were needed to recruit the “next generation” of officers, as well as “increase the resources devoted to the health and wellness of our police officers.”
“We have to make sure we are continuing to provide resources to recruit the next generation of police officers and make sure we’re doing that recruitment in a way that reflects diversity of the city,” she said.
The announcement comes after Lightfoot’s 2021 budget slashed law enforcement spending by $58 million and cut roughly 600 vacant positions amid last year’s “Defund the police” movement.
Lightfoot’s decision to increase police spending for next year comes on the heels of the death of Officer Ella French, who was shot at point-blank range while on duty — and as crime rates continue to surge across the Windy City.
French, 29, was fatally shot and her partner critically injured after they pulled a car over on the city’s South Side on Saturday.
Emonte Morgan, 21, and his brother Eric Morgan, 22, both convicted felons, have been charged in the brazen attack.
When Lightfoot visited the injured cop in the hospital in the hours after the shooting, fellow Chicago police officers turned their backs on her, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Local lawmakers told the outlet that progressive politics were to blame for the anti-police movement in the city and the brazen attacks on officers.
Meanwhile, the number of murders and shootings that have occurred in Chicago so far this year alone has already eclipsed 2020’s crime rates, according to police department figures.
In the week ending Aug. 9, the number of murders in Chicago is up 120 percent compared to the same period last year.
The number of shooting incidents in the last week is up 27 percent over last year.
There have already been 474 murders and 2,100 shooting incidents this year alone, according to the crime figures.