On Tuesday, Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins appeared on CNN and frantically warned that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's vaccine mandate has started a mass exodus of police officers...which is not something that the crime-ridden city can afford.
The city has begun firing thousands of officers, but also faces an uphill battle with recruiting new officers. Not a good combination.
“I think she [Lightfoot] is aware of the situation we’re in right now in terms of the potential impact on public safety. We’re already short police officers,” Hopkins told CNN anchor Alison Camerota.
“We’re down, you know, probably about 20 percent from where our peak staffing levels were a few years ago. So we’re short patrol officers, we’re — we’ve been unsuccessful, like jurisdictions all across the country, at recruiting young people to choose careers in law enforcement. We have retirements happening at an accelerated pace. We can’t afford to lose a thousand police officers. We can’t afford to fire a thousand police officers over an impasse like this right now. So, I think the Mayor is aware of that. She’s in an untenable position, you know, as far as trying to bargain her way out of this. But frankly, she put herself in that position,” he continued.
“So, very quickly, you think crime rates are going to go up starting now?,” Camerota inquired.
“They already are. We had a police officer who was shot in my neighborhood yesterday. Fortunately, the bullet was a glancing blow, but it was off of his head,” Hopkins replied. “It hit him in the cheek, an inch in a different direction would have killed him, over a relatively minor incident that just escalated. We’re seeing that sort of thing happening where offenders are emboldened, they’re firing at police officers, and they’re engaging in crimes in neighborhoods that never saw the levels of crime that they’re seeing right now. The entire city is on edge right now, and to tell my residents that we’re going to lose a thousand police officers at a time when we need a thousand more, it’s not a welcome message while people are concerned about rising crime."
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A partial transcript is as follows:
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