The City Council's most powerful aldermen on Wednesday defended Mayor Rahm Emanuel's decision to enlist Chicago firefighters in the effort to guarantee the safety of 30,000 students displaced by school closings.
Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, said he has long encouraged a "more mobile deployment" of the Chicago Fire Department's equipment and personnel.
"I don't see why they can't be out and be the further eyes and ears of the government," Burke said Wednesday. "I don't think anybody is suggesting they're gonna be armed and involved like police officers. Their role will be more expanding the city presence."