Chicago’s progressive Mayor Lori Lightfoot was secretly protected by a special unit of more than 70 police officers – one set up the same year as she was reportedly pushing to cut $80 million from the police budget.
The previously unknown Chicago Police Department’s Unit 544 has 65 officers along with five sergeants and a lieutenant assigned to protect the mayor – in addition to her personal bodyguard of about 20 officers, the Chicago Sun-Times said Monday, citing public records famous.
The potential recruits for the unit, also known as the Government Security Command, were told that their “mission will be to provide physical security for City Hall, the mayor’s residence and the command post of the Mayor’s Command,” the newspaper said.
“By coordinating intelligence and resources, officers will respond to any threats related to the mayor’s property to ensure its protection,” a recruiting memo said.
That memo was sent out in July 2020, the year that Lightfoot was pushing to cut the police department’s budget by $80 million and eliminate hundreds of jobs amid calls for increasing calls for police during protests over the killing to disappoint George Floyd.
Lightfoot later backed down, declining calls to relieve the force and eventually increasing the budget.
But critics noted that the secret police unit was shut down at a time of complaints of the dwindling presence of patrol officers – ironically in part due to patrols keeping protesters “defund the police” away from Lightfoot’s Logan Square home, noted the Sun -Times fixed.
“As homicides soar while districts are short on manpower, all that matters is protecting their castle,” John Catanzara, president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, told the Sun -Times.
Lightfoot confirmed the existence of Unit 544 and insisted it was set up to cover the lack of a “unified command” for potential mayoral emergencies.
“And then obviously, especially in 2020, there was a significant number of protests across the city and some of them targeted my house,” she told The Sun-Times
“That made it all the more important that it was very important to have a unified command to understand and share information and be ready to respond to any type of threat,” she said.
That threat became all too real last month when a man angry about speeding tickets was arrested by firing a gun and trying to deliver a letter to her home, the newspaper noted. Joseph Igartua, 37, is being held without a bond for stalking and recklessly firing a gun.
“Thank god for the police protection we have but this one is really annoying. And scary,” she said.
“If someone shows up at your house and is obviously going through a mental health crisis with a loaded gun, that’s scary,” Lightfoot said.
“That was real. And it scared us. i won’t lie It was very, very scary. So I’m grateful for the police department’s quick work to really protect us from this real threat,” she told the Chicago Gazette.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/29/lori-lightfoot-secretly-protected-by-specialist-squad-of-71-cops/ Lori Lightfoot is secretly protected by a special squad of 71 cops