Public Safety a Top Concern Among 33rd Ward Residents
CHICAGO – Both the Fraternal Order of Police - Chicago Lodge 7 and the Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association endorsed Annisa Wanat for alderman in the 33rd Ward. “I am honored that the men and women who protect us everyday, are supporting my candidacy,” said Wanat.
“Fear about declining public safety is one of the main concerns I hear from 33rd Ward residents. To have both of these police organizations look at my platform and say ‘We want Wanat’ is an honor. This shows that our law enforcement officials understand that we need to start making more responsible budget decisions that include reforming TIF, streamlining city services, and identifying new revenue sources,” said Wanat. “It is only with these steps, that we will be able to free up funds to pay the city’s pension obligations, hire more police officers, and strengthen our neighborhood schools – all of which we desperately need in increase public safety in our neighborhoods.”
Wanat believes that continuing to rely on overtime in our police force is a dangerous policy that needs to be changed. Although the overtime policy maybe “cheaper” than training new police officers, “cheaper is not necessarily better.” As this overtime policy continues, Chicago runs a greater risk of burning out the police force – which in any profession, can result in poor decision-making – but unlike other professions, in the case of a burned-out police force, the consequences cold be fatal.
An increased police presence is only part of Wanat’s plan for a stronger ward. In the short-term, Wanat wants to explore low-cost ways to augment the CAPS program and increase interaction between officers in other environments, such as positive loitering events, events at the school, and community meetings. In the long term, in order to make our streets safer, we need to start supporting our neighborhood high schools now and promote them as community centers for the ward. “The more students who leave the neighborhood to go to school, the weaker our community becomes as there is less interaction between parents and neighbors – leaving an opening for ‘bad elements’ to influence our young adults. Stronger neighborhood schools foster stronger communities,” said Wanat.