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The security chief for Chicago Public Schools vowed Monday to absorb a $5 million cut in annual security funding with no further cuts in the 153 uniformed police officers permanently assigned to high schools.
"We will not be impacting the number of full-time officers we have inside schools today," chief safety and security officer Jadine Chou said in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre.
Chou acknowledged that the school security budget has been reduced - from $18 million a year ago to $13 million this year.
Asked how she plans to absorb that $5 million cut without reducing the number of officers, "We're still working with the police and exploring other avenues that can accomplish the same goal. Other efficiencies," she said, refusing to reveal specifics.
"It is my charge to make the appropriate allocation changes. I'm not prepared to discuss how we will do that. But we will do it while maintaining the level of safety. That will not include reducing police presence inside the schools."
Last year, high schools were offered $25,000 in cash for every police officer they agreed to give up in a move that CPS hoped would reduce the number of officers permanently assigned to high schools from 200 to 60. That would have freed 140 officers for street duty.