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Chicago Police Are Gearing Up For Combat

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Dan Chaison Reporter
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In the wake of Chicago’s 500th homicide this year, city officials are planning to buy equipment fit for a battlefield.

Officers should carry combat gauze, some city officials say, and the police department plans to install more gunshot detection sensors.

“ShotSpotter” picks up gunshots, giving analysts in California the source’s location. Once gunfire is confirmed, the company notifies police. The technology is already in use in several Chicago neighborhoods and the city is planning to expand to 13.5 square mile area.

Money for the new systems will come from asset forfeitures, The Chicago Sun Times reports. The expansion is set to cost about $940,000 in the first year.

In addition to detecting more shootings, city officials also want officers to be better equipped for treating victims.

Alderman Edward Burke announced Wednesday he wants cops to carry “Quick Clot” gauze, a medical dressing issued by the Army. Two officers recently put the gauze into action, prompting Burke to push for all cops to carry it, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Officers Alejandro Cabral and Juan Zuniga applied Quick Clot to a man suffering an open chest wound. Cabral, a former Army medic who served in Afghanistan, said he carries it for the same reason soldiers do–to use on himself or a buddy.

“Both (Zuniga) and I, we’ve been shot at twice in this department, and luckily never hit, never struck, never hurt. But there’s always that possibility that either myself, my partner, another police officer or in this case a citizen gets hurt, and we’re able to provide medical aid,” Cabral said.

It is unclear if there’s room in Chicago’s tight budget for the gauze, which costs upwards of $40 online, but Burke and Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson plan to push a motion through City Council next week.

“We’re going to explore what the funding source in New York state was,” Burke said, pointing out that New York has plans to issue its police the same gauze. He also suggested that federal funds may be available through the Office of Emergency Management.

The move to adopt additional resources comes as the city is scrambling to hire more officers. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday that hiring police will be a priority in any budgeting decision.

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