The same Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who suggested cutting the police budget in 2020 by $80 million dollars has a 71 man task force just to protect her, not counting the 20 people in her personal bodyguard detail. That seems like a lot. She blames President Trump for the fact she is so hated. She said:
“When the president of the United States uses the world’s largest megaphone and platform to target you personally, terrible things happen. And he not only blew a dog whistle, he pointed really evil and dangerous people right at my doorstep.”
Remember that it was President Trump that offered to send federal officers in to help the police deal with rapidly rising shootings and other violent crimes. Lightfoot rejected his help. Is that what she was talking about?
The special unit, named Unit 544, now is comprised of 65 officers, five sergeants and a lieutenant, plus the addition 20 officers in her personal bodyguard detail.
On July 7, 2020, the police department issued a memo to officers who had served for at least five years; it stated:
The unit’s mission will be to provide physical security for City Hall, the mayor’s residence and the mayor’s detail command post. … Through the coordination of intelligence and resources, officers will respond to all threats related to the mayor’s physical properties to ensure its protection.
The Sun-Times added:
“Around the same time the unit was being formed in the summer of 2020, residents of Humboldt Park and Logan Square were complaining that the Shakespeare district, which covers their neighborhoods, was getting stretched thin because so many patrol officers there were being assigned to keep protesters from gathering outside Lightfoot’s house in Logan Square.”
John Catanzara, president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, commented, “While murders are soaring, while districts are barebones for manpower, all that matters is protecting her castle.”
After the shooting death of Officer Ella French last August, Lightfoot introduced a plan to “refund the police.” “The very next month, in September, Lightfoot unveiled a a $16.7 billion spending plan Monday that boosted funding for the department, lifting the Chicago Police Department’s annual budget to $1.9 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2021,” The Daily Mail noted. “The plan relied on federal money to help dig the city out of a deficit that reached new heights during Lightfoot’s time in office.”