Former Mayor Richard Daley’s temporary security detail will be evaluated again this summer to see if he still needs Chicago police officers assigned to him for his safety, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday.
The timetable on Daley’s detail came as Emanuel spoke to reporters for the first time since the late Friday announcement that the city was pulling four police officers off the security detail for powerful Ald. Edward Burke and replacing them with two retired officers.
Daley’s security needs also were part of that review. The former mayor kept his five police bodyguards during the security shake-up, but the new administration soon will take another look to see if the protection is justified.
“The former mayor’s security detail was always designed to be transitional and temporary, and that’s how it will be,” Emanuel said. “There will be an evaluation again on security needs towards the end of the summer, but it will be temporary and it’s transitional, and it will come — as it relates to the city’s responsibility — to an end.”
The decision to reduce the size of Burke’s guard also was based on security needs, Emanuel said.
Emanuel has chafed at the media attention Burke’s guards have received, arguing the assignments of those four officers aren’t as big a priority as community safety. Emanuel said he has counted 67 stories about the alderman’s security detail.
“My first goal is to bring safety throughout the city of Chicago,” he said while speaking to reporters after a meeting of the Public Building Commission.
Emanuel, however, got the ball rolling on the issue during the mayoral campaign when he suggested Burke might have to give up his longtime detail in the interest of “shared sacrifice.”
Burke, 14th, has enjoyed police protection since the early 1980s, when he was one of Mayor Harold Washington’s chief foes during the racially charged Council Wars. When Washington tried to take the cops away in 1986, Burke got a court order blocking the move.
Late Friday, Emanuel police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said it had been determined that several officials “require less or no protection.”
City Treasurer Stephanie Neely had her police detail reduced. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her police detail and the next head of the Chicago Housing Authority won’t have one either. Emanuel said “eight or nine” police officers have been returned to regular duty because of the changes at a time when the department is short by hundreds of officers.
The mayor also said Tuesday that three job change suggestions he has offered to City Hall unions would save about $3 million this year and prevent him from having to lay off about 200 people if labor leaders agree to them.
Emanuel: Daley's security detail to be re-evaluated by summer's end
Mayor Rahm Emanuel discussed cutting back public officials' police bodyguards today. (Terrence Antonio James/Tribune)