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William Getz

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William I. Getz  More Info

About the Chicago Police Department

On January 31, 1835, the State of Illinois authorized the Town of Chicago to establish its own police force.  On August 15, Orsemus Morrison is elected Chicago's first constable, assisted by Constables Luther Nichols and John Shrigley. The three-man police force serves and protects a population of about 3,200. The Police Department pre-dates Chicago as a city.


Today, the Chicago Police Department is the second largest in the United States, serving approximately 2.9 million residents within the 228 square miles that constitutes the City of Chicago.  The Chicago Police Department had, at the end of 2005, 13,323 sworn police officers and over 2,000 civilian personnel.


The Chicago Police Department is divided into 25 police districts.  Each district has between 9 and 15 police beats, with a total 281 beats throughout the city of Chicago. Each of the 25 police districts is led by a district commander who, in addition to uniformed police officers, has teams of undercover tactical and gang police officers at his or her disposal.  The Chicago Police Department Districts are organized into five larger organization entities called Areas.  These area commanders report to the Bureau of Patrol.


In addition to the Bureau of Patrol, the Chicago Police Department has four other bureaus: Bureau of Investigative Services; Bureau of Strategic Deployment; Bureau of Crime Strategy and Accountability; and, the Bureau of Administrative services.  Instead of a Chief of Police, the Chicago Police Department has a Superintendent of Police; and, the Bureau commanders hold the rank of Deputy Superintendent.

The inside story of policemen is finally brought to light by the only person capable of relating it honestly, a working policeman. William I. Getz, a patrolman from Chicago, starts at the beginning of a policeman's career, the police academy, where the new recruit is expected to learn just about everything there is to know about police work and then some. From there, he's put on a beat, usually riding with another man in a squad car, and then the "fun" begins - once in the street, he is at its mercy, never able to predict what he may face during his eight-hour stint: could be a drunk having a fit on a downtown corner; could be a crazed husband threatening his wife with a baseball bat; or it could be a man with a shotgun who's just blown the top of a robbery victim's head off. Whatever, the life of a patrolman is unique and his stories can either bring tears to your eyes, or make you retch - something, believe it or not, cops are capable of experiencing themselves. A bold, outspoken, human look at our law enforcers.

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