$54 MIL­LION

COST TO DE­PLOY 1,200 NA­TIONAL GUARD MEM­BERS IN CITY FOR 4 MONTHS:

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY FRAN SPIELMAN, CITY HALL RE­PORTER fspiel­man@sun­times.com | @fspiel­man

A four-month de­ploy­ment by 1,200 mem­bers of the Illi­nois Na­tional Guard to stop Chicago’s cy­cle of gang vi­o­lence would cost tax­pay­ers $54 mil­lion and stig­ma­tize en­tire South and West Side neigh­bor­hoods for years, al­der­men were told Wed­nes­day.

Ali­cia Tate-Nadeau, act­ing di­rec­tor of the Illi­nois Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency, tes­ti­fied Wed­nes­day be­fore the City Coun­cil’s Com­mit­tee on Pub­lic Safety about a res­o­lu­tion to de­clare a state of emer­gency in Chicago that could pave the way for the Illi­nois Na­tional Guard to ei­ther re­lieve po­lice of­fi­cers work­ing 12-hour days or pro­tect neigh­bor­hood as­sets so lo­cal of­fi­cers can re­spond to vi­o­lent crime.

Tate-Nadeau said a four-month de­ploy­ment by 1,200 Na­tional Guard mem­bers would cost $13.6 mil­lion per month — $54.4 mil­lion to­tal. That money is “not re­im­bursable” by the fed­eral govern­ment.

But Chicago first would have to demon­strate it has ex­hausted all other re­sources, in­clud­ing Illi­nois State Po­lice and Cook County sher­iff ’s of­fi­cers.

Tate-Nadeau also warned the Na­tional Guard is lim­ited to a “sup­port role.” They can set road­blocks and staff check­points, but only with “on-site as­sis­tance” by Chicago po­lice. The cit­i­zen-sol­diers can­not de­tain any­one.

“Also, it can­not be over­stated the vis­ual ef­fect of hav­ing armed, uni­formed sol­diers on the streets of Chicago. This could have an un­in­tended ef­fect and make peo­ple feel less safe in their com­mu­ni­ties and could re­sult in ar­eas of the city be­com­ing stig­ma­tized for days, weeks, and even years to come,” TateNadeau said.

The vote on the Guard res­o­lu­tion comes next week. But it was clear the votes are not there.

Mayor Lori Light­foot has strongly op­posed call­ing out the Na­tional Guard, and Po­lice Supt. David Brown was equally adamant Wed­nes­day, say­ing few guards­men “have any ex­pe­ri­ence polic­ing civil­ians or deal­ing with the vi­o­lent crime” Chicago faces.

They don’t have “a stan­dard set of rules of en­gage­ment on do­mes­tic soil.” They can’t be used to “free up CPD re­sources,” since they don’t have ar­rest pow­ers.

“I firmly be­lieve that Chicago needs to solve its own prob­lems,” he said.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) was in­censed by the opposition.

Lopez said a sup­port role is what he en­vi­sioned when he co-spon­sored the res­o­lu­tion. He noted the city had “no prob­lem ask­ing 345 Na­tional Guards­men to cre­ate a perime­ter to pro­tect the Cen­tral Busi­ness District” af­ter the first round of loot­ing in early June.

“Now, neigh­bor­hoods like mine — in Back of the Yards or Brighton Park or Gage Park or West En­gle­wood — are be­ing told that they have to ba­si­cally fend for them­selves be­cause, what’s good for down­town isn’t good enough for them be­cause of some lie that’s be­ing per­pe­trated,” Lopez said.

Ald. An­thony Napoli­tano (41st), who has served Chicago as both a po­lice of­fi­cer and a fire­fighter, ar­gued po­lice dis­tricts have been stripped of of­fi­cers to pro­tect down­town “at any ex­pense” — and right­fully so.

“We’re leav­ing our neigh­bor­hoods through­out the city with lit­tle to no po­lice pres­ence. To me, this is un­ac­cept­able. We need to bring in the Na­tional Guard,” said Napoli­tano, whose Far North­west Side ward is home to scores of Chicago Po­lice of­fi­cers.

AN­THONY VAZQUEZ/SUN-TIMES FILE

Johnny Le­land is shown in June, dump­ing some shards of glass onto a trash pile from the af­ter­math of protests and loot­ing on the South Side. Some Chicago al­der­men want to bring in the Illi­nois Na­tional Guard to help with se­cu­rity down­town and in the neigh­bor­hoods.

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