It's official! The streets of Chicago have become a war zone as more homicides have been reported than that of the war in Afghanistan.
According to data revealed by the Daily, it showed that while 144 Americans have died in Afghanistan in 2012, a whopping 228 Chicago residents have been killed, and the murder rate is up a staggering 35 percent from last year.
In an effort to curb the numbers, Chicago announced it will allow police in the cash-strapped city to work overtime at time-and-a-half pay in order to put more officers on the street.
The move comes as Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, is under increased pressure to find a way to stem the violence. Last weekend, nine people were killed and 53 were shot, just two weeks after 10 people died and dozens more were wounded in gun-related mayhem.
Daniel Gorman, vice president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police said that-
“Just look at what’s been happening every single weekend…Although we appreciate the overtime, we still can’t ignore that we’ve got a manpower crisis, and the recent violence in the city is proof of that crisis.”
On the state level, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law this week that gives police the power to prosecute street gang leaders for the crimes of their underlings but police superintendent Garry McCarthy has argued that the media have blown Chicago’s crime problem out of proportion saying-
“We’re having a perception issue…And perhaps it’s my problem. Perhaps it’s my fault. I don’t know how to change this.”
Though there have been 228 murders in the city so far this year, over the past several years Chicago’s murder rate has fallen, but not as fast as the rates in other big cities.
According to McCarthy-
“If you look at past decades, you see, as in the rest of the country, a significant decrease in shootings and homicides…But we haven’t moved as far down as cities like L.A. and New York.”
The violence is escalating in the Chi and with the summer right around the corner things will most likely heat up on the streets.