Sneed: McCarthy’s Summer Surge to move 150 cops from desk duty to the street

Written By By Michael Sneed Posted: 08/03/2014, 02:25am
Array Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy talks about bipartisan legislation cracking down on straw gun purchases and illegal gun trafficking at the Public Safety Building 3510 S. Michigan. Friday, March 8, 2013 | Brian Jackson~ Sun-Times

The Summer Surge . . .

A phalanx of police department pencil pushers just got merged into the Summer Surge.

◆ Translation: In anticipation of an increase in violence during the August heat, top cop Garry McCarthy is dispatching a cadre of desk cops and sergeants to patrol high crime areas on the South and West sides.

“Supt. McCarthy is beefing up his ‘Summer Surge’ plan to put more administrative officers on the street by detailing a new contingent of 150 police officers and sergeants who normally have desk jobs,” said a City Hall source.

“They will now be detailed to high crimes areas throughout the city from Mondays to Thursdays during the month of August,” the source added.

Earlier this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and McCarthy announced the project — which has resulted in hundreds of additional cops on the street in parks, Chicago Housing Authority developments and CTA property during summer months when violence is higher. The 150 officers are in addition to the other officers.

“While we have had the fewest murders to date since 1963, we know there is still much more work to be done,” said McCarthy.

“We are always going to continue looking for new ways to build on our strategy, whether that’s intervening in gang conflicts, partnering with community leaders, or putting more officers on the street,” he said.

Pulling officers off desk duty and putting them on the streets is a tactic Emanuel has looked to in the past: He moved 200 officers following the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton in 2013.

Though this summer has had fewer murders than in previous years, it hasn’t been without headline-grabbing tragedy. Most recently, 11-year-old Shamiya Adams was killed by a stray bullet while at a slumber party with her friends.

Over the Fourth of July weekend alone, 48 people were shot and 13 killed. The shocking statistics led McCarthy to acknowledge that the hundreds of extra officers he deployed that weekend weren’t enough to quell the violence and that more stringent gun laws must be in place as well.

For the vets . . .

Sneed’s favorite comedian and ex-G.I. Tom Dreesen is jetting in with his buddy Gary “Forrest Gump” Sinise to emcee Sinise’s foundation fund-raiser at Arlington Park on Sunday. The event, given graciously by racetrack impresario Dick Duchossois, is raising money to build homes for disabled vets.

◆ Buck shot: Arlington is naming the fourth race “Welcome Home Tom Dreesen.”

Daley data . . .

Former Mayor Richard Daley was spotted at new Oak Street hot spot Fig and Olive Thursday night, according to a Sneed source.

He “came for drinks at the bar, then sat for dinner and socialized at the bar after dinner. He is seemingly vibrant and in great health . . . looks great!” the source said.

Hmmm . . .

I spy . . .

Actor Jeremy “Six Feet Under” Sisto dined at Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch Thursday . . . Astronaut Buzz Aldrin checked into The Herrington Inn in Geneva on Friday . . . Songwriter Bernie Taupin, wearing a white suit, dropped by Fig and Olive on Thursday.

Sneedlings . . .

Saturday’s birthdays: Mary-Louise Parker, 50; Sam Worthington, 38, and Wes Craven, 75 . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Martha Stewart, 73; Tony Bennett, 88, and Martin Sheen, 74.

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