While many cities throughout the U.S. have been struggling with surging crime rates in the past two years, Chicago has stood out in particular. The crisis that Chicago faces was once again made clear when one of the city’s 911 dispatchers resigned and spoke out about the lack of support law enforcement receives from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and city officials.
Keith Thornton Jr. was a dispatcher but decided to resign to better “advocate and get my voice out there” to talk about the crime crisis facing Chicago, he told Fox News.
“There is no transparency from the city hall here in Chicago and just a very negligent administration. It was just time. I’m tired of it,” he said.
Thornton also called out “revolving door” bail policies.
“Constantly every week, every other day, they’re saying that the stats are down with violent crime and people shot and homicides. Listen, being on the other side of the radio as a dispatcher in Chicago, I’m like, this is nonsense. … I don’t stand for that. This is wrong,” he said.
Thornton is not the only person unhappy with Lightfoot and city officials though.
Lightfoot has been heavily criticized for her handling of Chicago over the past two years and the New York Times even noted how she has the “uncanny ability to make political enemies.”
Even other Chicago city officials are displeased with Lightfoot.
Byron Sigcho-Lopez, the 25th Ward Alderman, called the mayor a “phony reformer” whose actions contradict her campaign promise to “bring in the light,” the Chicago Sun Times reported.
The police force is also getting fed up with Chicago’s officials.
The president of Chicago’s police union has also blamed Lightfoot, along with the city’s school system, for the high crime and homicide rates.
John Catanzara, Jr., the president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police talked with Fox News at the end of July about the problems the city is facing.
“Chicago recovers more guns than New York and L.A. combined, but yet we have more homicides than New York and L.A. combined,” Catanzarza said. “I firmly believe it goes back to… the school system and how there’s no accountability for these kids who are lost. Many of them have no parental guidance at home and their grandparents are raising them, and they put them in a school system where they misbehave.”
“Unfortunately, the schools keep vilifying the police officers as we’re the problem, and the mayor doesn’t do anything to help,” he added.
Chicago is currently on pace for more than 600 homicides in 2022, WTTW News reported.
While this is slightly down from the incredibly high crime statistics of 2020 and 2021, Chicago is still struggling with its police force.
Just in the past six months, there have been about 300 resignations from the police department. Many officers have even given up their pension, Fox News reported.
Now, Chicago is facing a shortage of police officers. At the end of June the department said it was 1,300 officers short of what was needed, CBS News reported.
Thornton spoke about his personal experience as a dispatcher in light of the police shortages and high crimes.
“We’re supposed to tell these citizens a bunch of fluff that we have resources and police coming and there’s hours and hours before we can get an officer to many of the scenes throughout the city,” Thornton said.
But as Catanzara noted, “Everybody’s numb to it at this point.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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