The currently vacant building at 5400 W. 63rd St. --File photo

The currently vacant building at 5400 W. 63rd St. --File photo

Legislation to acquire new police district facility on Southwest Side passes General Assembly

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Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar measure heads to Pritzker’s desk

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From staff reports

State Senator Mike Porfirio (D-11th) and State Rep. Angelica “Angie” Guerrero-Cuellar (D-22nd) recently passed legislation in the General Assembly to acquire a new police district facility representing their districts on the Southwest Side.

The bill passed both chambers with veto-proof margins. The legislation now heads to Gov. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.

GSWNH MikePorfirio 052424

State Senator Mike Porfirio

House Bill 478 would transfer the Midway Flight Facility, 5400 W. 63rd St., to the City of Chicago for one dollar, for the express purpose of a police district. The payment would be made to the Department of Military Affairs, which currently owns the property.

“Our residents have spoken and want this facility to be used for public good,” Porfirio said. “We hope Governor Pritzker and Mayor Johnson will support our efforts to provide better police support on the Southwest Side.”

The current 8th Chicago Police District is the busiest and largest by population, ranking first for all crimes committed across the city. Southwest Side residents voted overwhelmingly–at nearly 87%–for a new police district in the March 19 primary. A group of 15 elected officials representing the community sent Gov. Pritzker a letter in March requesting the state sell them a vacant building to be used as a new police district facility.

“I am honored to have carried and passed this important legislation for our residents who deserve safe neighborhoods like everyone else,” Guerrero-Cuellar said. “I’m hopeful Gov. Pritzker will sign our legislation and Mayor Johnson will see the value in developing an additional police district on the Southwest Side.”

GSWNH AngieGuerrero Cuellar 052424

State Rep. Angie Guerrero-Cuellar

The 8th District has the worst data points in the city on key police staffing metrics, which has led to slow police response times and resident frustration. At its current size, which hasn’t changed since the late 1960s, the 8th District is the busiest and third-largest police district in the city (at 23 square miles) and serves the highest population with over 250,000 residents. That equates to 10 officers for every 10,000 residents, which is the lowest officer to resident ratio in the city.

In January, a broad coalition of elected officials, community groups and local residents added their voices to the call to create an additional Chicago police district and new police beats on the city’s Southwest Side. The group urged Mayor Johnson, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development to join the effort and help identify land for a new police district building in the community.

2 Comments

  1. Joe Midona on May 20, 2024 at 6:24 pm

    Ok, so open this site up and transfer half of the officers 👮‍♀️ from the 8th District there and this somehow solves the problem, I think NOT.
    Manpower shortage is the PROBLEM, even Ray Charles can see that🤷‍♂️.



  2. Jonathan Hacker on May 27, 2024 at 2:08 pm

    Think of the new command staff, administrative staff, and a new CAPS offices that can be created. The city can add another commander to the payroll and create more inside spots. That alone is worth it. Yes sir, a true value.



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