Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited the Chicago police academy Tuesday to draw renewed attention to his push to add nearly 1,000 new officers, a costly and challenging plan he has sold as a major step toward slowing the city’s runaway gun violence and improving oversight in a department plagued by scandal.

As he talked to about 100 young cadets in a meeting room on the Near West Side, the mayor told them they were among the hundreds of new officers in training, with more to come in the new year.

“This place is going to be busting at the seams, which is a good thing,” Emanuel said from a lectern adorned with a large CPD seal. “More resources, better training going into our police department, so we can provide our residents and our neighborhoods and our communities throughout the city of Chicago the type of support they need.”

The plan that Emanuel is selling, however, is at odds with his record of allowing the Police Department’s ranks to shrink by hundreds of officers during his more than five years in office.

Department rosters the Chicago Tribune obtained through an open records request show the city has lost nearly 600 officers since Emanuel took office in 2011. Those losses came in addition to hundreds of departures in the period that largely fell between former Mayor Richard M. Daley‘s announcement he wouldn’t seek re-election and Emanuel’s inauguration. Since July 2010, staffing has dropped by about 950 sworn officers.

With 11,989 sworn officers as of October, department rolls have decreased by about 5 percent during Emanuel’s administration.