Crime-plagued Chicago to add nearly 1,000 police officers
Image: A Chicago Police Department cruiser (Keith Levit /

Chicago's police department plans to hire nearly 1,000 officers over the next two years in a bid to combat a surge of violence in the third-largest U.S. city including more than 500 murders this year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Wednesday.

The department will add 970 officers to its force including 516 patrol officers, 92 field-training officers, 112 sergeants, 50 lieutenants and 200 detectives, police Chief Eddie Johnson told the newspaper.

The city currently has around 12,000 officers, the newspaper reported.

Chicago is struggling with a wave of violence that has included 509 murders in the city already this year, according to Chicago Police Department statistics, a 46 percent increase from last year.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel had been reluctant to hire more officers, relying instead on existing officers to work overtime. He is scheduled to give a speech on the city's crime problem on Thursday night.

(Reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin; Editing by Will Dunham)