Thursday, June 14, 2012
Please bend over so Rahm Emanuel & Garry McCarthy can blow smoke up your ass! Mayor & Top Cop serious about stopping the spike in murders & shootings
Chicago's high homicide rate has long confounded City Hall and the Police Department. But the problem is especially vexing for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, whose promise of new crime-fighting strategies has been overshadowed by a dramatic spike in homicides this year.
With another hot summer weekend looming, police are under pressure to prevent a repeat of recent surges in violence. As the new top cop and his boss confront the problem, they are expressing confidence in their long-term plan for eradicating violence by moving more police into neighborhoods where they will become experts on the beats they patrol.
Over time, officers working the same blocks day after day are building knowledge so they can tell thugs from budding students and helpful homeowners from those harboring troublemakers. Commanders armed with that street intelligence and with more resources will be held responsible for keeping crime down in their districts.
But the resources McCarthy is putting in the hands of his commanders come in part from disbanding a force of hundreds of officers who made up the department's hammer whenever top brass needed to head off a sharp increase in violence.
That tool has been missed this year as killings climbed roughly 35 percent over the same period in 2011, according to homicide detectives, gang crime investigators and other law enforcement sources, who asked that their names be withheld because they are not authorized to speak to the news media. Those on the ground handling the increase in killings — which had been up as much as 60 percent earlier this spring — said that factor appears to be the most significant change in the complex mixture that contributes to Chicago's traditionally high homicide rate.
"Maybe that is a consequence of it, and I didn't anticipate it," McCarthy said in a Tribune interview. "Quite frankly, I'm not going to accept it as that's the reason why.
"I'm not positive of the reason why because, at the same time, every other category, including shootings, has been moving in the right direction in a general sense," McCarthy said. "You'll have bumps, right? It's like the market, you know what I mean, it goes up, and then it goes down, but you have to look at the long term."
And while the department invited police to work overtime this summer to combat the increase in violence, McCarthy insisted his new approach was already working, pointing to a recent slowdown in homicides.
"One crime category has gone in the wrong direction for the year, and that's well, shootings and murders, right, they're linked, but for the last how long, shootings have been going in the right direction, and murders just now are starting to follow," McCarthy said.
In raw numbers, there were 228 homicides from Jan. 1 through June 11, compared with 169 at this time last year, according to the department, equaling an increase of a little less than 35 percent.
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