Flannery Fired Up: Pritzker urges swift action as Chicago Police Department struggles with officer exodus

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Chicago must replace more than a thousand cops who've left the police department.

But he warns it won't be done quickly, because job seekers these days have lots of opportunities.

The governor said he and Mayor Brandon Johnson are on the same page when it comes to violence reduction strategy.

"There's more emphasis on prevention than there ever has been before with the new mayor. And I'm grateful for that. I think, you know, lifting up communities that have been poor and left out is the best way for us to make an enormous difference going forward at lowering our crime rate," Pritzker said.


But that's a long-term strategy likely requiring years or even decades. On Friday night's edition of Flannery Fired Up, Mike Flannery points out that Memorial Day weekend was the most violent in eight years.

"So, what do you think is going to work in the short term? How do we stop next weekend and the weekend after that," Flannery asked.

"A couple of things. One is we've gotta hire police. There's no doubt about it, right? I mean, the Chicago Police Department has lost hundreds, I mean 1,500 police officers. And then we have a labor shortage in the country. Let alone here," Pritzker responded.

"People don't wanna be cops anywhere in the country," Flannery said.

"And, I would say, there aren't enough people applying for any jobs, Pritzker said.

The governor said the Chicago Police Department will have to mount a serious hiring push in order to fill 1,500 or more patrol officer jobs.