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Police Officer Jobs in Chicago Go Vacant at Airports

Posted on October 9, 2008

If you’re looking for a law enforcement job in Chicago, it might be useful to know that one-third of the city’s airport police positions are currently vacant.

Currently, police officers are working overtime to help fill the vacancies at O’Hare and Midway airports. There are 77 combined vacancies at the two airports. Of O’Hare’s 177 budgeted positions, 66 are vacant. Midway has 11 of its 57 positions vacant, according to an article by the Chicago Sun-Times.

These figures were found when the City of Chicago submitted a $2.5 billion plan to privatize Midway Airport. Most of the vacant positions are currently being filled with off-duty police officers who are receiving overtime pay. While public safety is not being compromised because of the vacancies, it hasn’t been reported how many of the positions are being filled with off-duty cops.

It has been noted some police officers have been transferred out of the airports to fill job shortages in Chicago neighborhoods. The salaries of airport police are paid for with airport revenues, while neighborhood officers are paid for through the city’s corporate fund.

“They’re choosing to have the vacancies at the airports because they have needs inside the neighborhoods,” Chief Financial Officer Paul Volpe said in the article. “The problem is, we don’t have the money to pay for the needs inside the neighborhoods — not this year.”

It is expected that 3,000 vacant positions will be eliminated in the city’s proposed 2009 budget, including 329 sworn police officers and 424 police civilians. It’s unfortunately a problem throughout Chicago. The list of 1,080 city employees targeted for layoffs includes 133 police civilians. The cuts will come despite the city’s earlier promise to hire 75 additional police officers in 2008.