Hillard telling hundreds more police officers to wear uniform

March 25, 2011

The Chicago police has moved 70 officers to patrol duty who were on special assignments, and the department said Friday it will tell 400 others to start wearing the uniform and help respond to calls.

Interim Superintendent Terry Hillard said he wants more officers in uniform to boost police visibility as the weather warms and crime tends to spike.

"Making a street stop, going in on an armed robbery, going in on a criminal sexual assault - there's nothing wrong with wearing a Chicago Police Department uniform," Hillard told reporters. "And just because you're in a suit and tie, or you're in blue jeans, Dockers or doggone 511, boots and pants, it doesn't mean you can't do work out there in a uniform."

Hillard said the officers will be assigned "where they're needed."

This is Hillard's second run as police superintendent. He accepted the job a few weeks ago on an interim basis, until a new superintendent can be installed by Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.

"I'm more than certain [Mayor Richard Daley] didn't put me in this position to come over and get paid for 10 weeks to just sit up there and not do anything," Hillard said in explaining the personnel moves. "The police department still has to run. We still have issues and concerns and crises that happen everyday and you have to address them."