With Chicago’s violent crime rate surging and Lightfoot cutting the police budget in 2020, she simultaneously set up an additional security force of police officers to provide her and her family protection. In 2020, Unit 544 for the police department was created. Meanwhile, in 2020, Lightfoot cut the city’s police force by 400 officers and proposed cutting their budget by $80 million.
Unit 544 began with a handful of officers and has grown, as of March 21, to a roster of 65 officers, five sergeants and a lieutenant, city records show.
Like previous Chicago mayors, Lightfoot also has a separate personal bodyguard detail, which includes about 20 officers, the records show. . . .
The unit was limited to officers with at least five years on the job. The desired qualifications included “experience in providing security and property protection services.” . . .Frank Main, Fran Spielman, “Dozens of Chicago cops guard mayor and family in below-the-radar security unit created in 2020,” Chicago Sun-Times, March 28, 2022