Twelve of the 18 police officers in one of the nation's poorest suburbs walked off the job Saturday and Sunday because they have not been paid in two weeks.
Ford Heights, with a population of 6,400 and an average income of $4,523 per person, was the poorest suburb cited in a 1987 study by a Roosevelt University urbanologist.
Mayor Saul Beck said Sunday that he hoped the officers would understand the financial dilemma of the community south of Chicago.
"We can't do like the federal government, create more money," Beck said Sunday. "We have to wait for it in our share of the state income tax and sales tax."
He said he did not think the lack of officers would set off a crime spree, noting that neighboring towns offered assistance if needed.
Beck said he does not know how much money the village needs to pay the officers or when they will be paid.