How Much Does the CPD Cost?

On today’s episode we feature a discussion about the real cost of the Chicago Police Department and how the City of Chicago uses corrupt budget practices to hide some of the cost from taxpayers and the media. These practices are not new to the city but Mayor Lightfoot’s administration has done nothing to correct them. Thus, like other corrupt mayors before her she hides the true cost from taxpayers.

Trying to figure out exactly how much the city spends on the Chicago Police Department is almost impossible unless you have significant experience deciphering budgets for a living. Thankfully, Jonathan Jonathan Silverstein took the time to comb through the city’s budget and parse out the hidden costs associated with operating the CPD. Jonathan is a Management Analyst with the City of Evanston, IL during the day. Jonathan has experience with Chicago budgets as he worked both in an alderperson’s office and at the City Council Office of Financial Analysis.

The politics around how much policing in the city costs taxpayers has always be fraught. On one side you have the Fraternal Order of Police always demanding the city spend more and more on police while leftists in Chicago question the spending and would rather put those costs towards addressing root causes.

In his research Jonathan details how the city uses a dumping ground within the budget to hide items like pension costs maintenance for CPD facilities and cars. These practices allow the city to hide well over $1 billion in costs related to the CPD annually.

If you are thinking this reflects really bad on the media in Chicago that it took a budget nerd to spend his free time to uncover these costs when the Chicago media couldn’t be bothered over a couple decades to do it you would be correct!

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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