Excerpts from abc7chicago.com:

Police officers and firefighters would no longer be forced to retire at age 63 under a proposal that’s being considered by a Chicago City Council committee. Supporters say it could save the city money and would help with staffing levels.

The proposal is still in the planning stages at this point, but the chairman of the Committee on Police and Fire said there are a lot of good reasons to consider it, despite concerns about the job of police officer and firefighter perhaps being better suited for younger people.

Police officer retention has been a big concern in recent years, with retirements outpacing the city’s ability to hire and train new recruits and staffing levels falling far below ideal numbers.

The union representing the rank and file is renewing a two-year-old push to extend the retirement age from 63 to 65.

Police and Fire Committee Chair Chris Taliaferro said there would financial benefits for the struggling police pension system with the department down, he said, about 2,000 positions.

One alderman who is a former firefighter said the demands of the job can be tough, even on younger members of the department. But, others say keeping older police officers and firefighters on duty provides leadership, wisdom and experience that is invaluable for both departments. 

The committee did not take up the issue on Monday. It is now expected to be addressed at the next meeting on Dec. 18.