Former Mayor Richard Daley's security detail has been reduced to three police officers, two of whom will be on call to transport former first lady Maggie Daley to and from doctor appointments and the hospital, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said today.
Chicago's former first lady has served the city for decades, and she is comfortable with having the officers take her to and from appointments, Emanuel said in explaining why it is appropriate for police perform the duty.
"While we're a city of big shoulders, we're also a city of big hearts," the mayor said at an unrelated news conference.
"Two of the officers are for Maggie Daley, the former first lady, who's battling cancer. I made that decision. Because as she's dealing with her health issues, getting to and from the hospital for her health care should not be a problem for her, and I didn't want it to be a problem."
"She has done countless thousands of hours on behalf of the city as a first lady, and this is a -- in my view -- a minor and small token of a way of saying, appreciation," Emanuel added.
The third officer will be on call to transport the former mayor. All three officers will be on police patrol when the Daleys don't need their services, Emanuel said.
"We are going to save the taxpayers money," Emanuel said of the move to cut the mayor's security detail. "We have gone from six to three."
Daley's security needs will be periodically reviewed going forward to see if the detail should be further reduced, according to a mayoral spokeswoman.
Emanuel indicated in July that Daley's bodyguard detail would be evaluated by the end of summer.
In a previous review, Emanuel cut the size of Ald. Edward Burke's detail from four to two.
Burke, 14th, has enjoyed police protection since the early 1980s, when he was one of Mayor Harold Washington’s chief foes during the racially charged Council Wars. When Washington tried to take the cops away in 1986, Burke got a court order blocking the move.
Emanuel police Superintendent Garry McCarthy at the time said it had been determined that several officials “require less or no protection.”
City Treasurer Stephanie Neely had her police detail reduced. Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her police detail and the next head of the Chicago Housing Authority won’t have one either. Emanuel said “eight or nine” police officers have been returned to regular duty because of the changes at a time when the department is short by hundreds of officers.