News and Analysis

More Illinois Sheriffs Departments Refuse Request To Staff Chicago Streets During Possible Police Shortage
Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot speaks to the press outside of the polling place at the Saint Richard Catholic Church in Chicago, Illinois on April 2, 2019. - Chicago residents went to the polls in a runoff election Tuesday to elect the US city's first black female mayor in a historic vote centered on issues of economic equality, race and gun violence. Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, both African-American women, are competing for the top elected post in the city.

Two more Illinois sheriff’s departments have refused to provide assistance to the city of Chicago, as the city faces the potential of a police shortage due to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate. 

James Mendrick, the sheriff of DuPage County, Illinois, as well as Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird, have both rejected the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System’s request for suburban police departments to help the city of Chicago respond to emergencies. 

“It’s like a preplanned police shortage,” DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick, whose department is already dealing with a 12-man shortage, told the Daily Herald. “The lack of logic is the thing that astounds me.” 

Mendrick said that the usual calls for assistance involve SWAT teams, but they could also include patrols, K-9 units, drones, or other assistance. He illustrated his point with an anecdote about the Chicago Bears football team being suspended, and another team playing in their place.

“The players wouldn’t know the coaches or the playbook,” he said, so in the case of an emergency “put [Chicago police] back in the game.” 

Baird also refused to send his deputies to aid Chicago, citing concerns about the treatment his officers would receive from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx if an incident should occur, according to the Police Tribune

“It sounds like Mayor Lightfoot is creating her own emergency with the decisions she’s making with her police force and I don’t feel that ILEAS assistance in this situation would be warranted,” said Baird. “I would help an officer out if they were distressed. But she’s bringing this upon herself.”

Their refusal comes on the heels of Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain refusing to honor the ILEAS’s request. As previously reported by The Daily Wire, Hain refused to send his deputies to the city because of the city’s progressive political agenda, as well as the vaccine mandate, which neither Hain nor Mendrick has imposed on their deputies.

“I believe the polarization between the community and police is only reinforced by current Chicago politics,” said Hain in a statement. “I will not send my personnel to Chicago unless an officer is under direct duress because I cannot support this slanted agenda.” 

“I also will not allow my deputies to be subjected to use force in the city and be under the prosecutorial jurisdiction of the Cook County State’s Attorney. The Chicago Police Department has a dedicated force of professional humans who deserve all of the support the nation can offer. The solution is simple; allow Chicago Police to be the police, support their human resources, and operate treatment and vocational support programs led by people in uniform. This is how Chicago can halt crime and build bridges with the community like we’ve done here in Kane.”  

The city of Chicago is bracing itself for a police shortage amid a showdown between the city’s police union and Mayor Lightfoot over the mayor’s vaccine mandate.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, the mandate ordered all city employees to declare their vaccination status by Oct. 15, or face unpaid leave, and recently only 64 percent of police department employees had actually turned in their vaccination records. The head of the Chicago police union previously warned that Chicago could see as much as a 50% drawdown because of the mandate, and has told his officers to “hold the line” in opposing the mandate. The union and the city are currently involved in competing lawsuits over the vaccine rules.

Lightfoot is adamant that contingency plans are in place, but already she has stripped 21 officers of their police powers and restricted time off requests in the wake of the shortage.

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