Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel publicly defended their new gang-fighting strategy Monday, amid growing criticism that the changes are failing and a big reason why the city's homicide rate has soared this year.
According to Yahoo News:
After weeks of media reports about Chicago homicides Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy defiantly said during a news conference that the gang strategies in place before McCarthy arrived were the ones that failed, not the new ones.
More beat officers are now on the streets and staying in specific areas, replacing the large, specialized units that would temporarily drop into crime-ridden areas.
Emanuel and McCarthy said they have no plans to change that strategy, and the mayor announced Monday that he's devoting another $4 million to tear down vacant buildings where gang members live and store guns and drugs.
The old tactic of flooding high-crime areas with teams of hundreds of officers for a short period of time, then moving the teams to other areas, was "like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound," McCarthy said. "We're not repairing anything by doing that."
Emanuel, who has made attacking the city's street gangs a cornerstone of his administration, was equally dismissive of the effectiveness of those citywide units.
However, the mayor and police leader rolled out their new anti-gang strategies at a time when the homicide rate was quickly increasing. Among the more recent high-profile deaths was a 7-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet while selling candy outside her home.
Chicago has averaged about 450 homicides a year since 2005, which is a dramatic drop from the roughly 900 homicides the city was experiencing annually in the early 1990s.
Still, McCarthy said the current numbers are unacceptable — and noted that the city recorded about the same number of homicides last year as New York City, which is three times the size of Chicago.
He and Emanuel insisted that their crime-fighting strategies are paying off, noting that the city's overall crime rate has dropped 10 percent compared to the same time last year. McCarthy also said there is evidence that police are on the right track in their fight against street gangs.
Insanity - a person repeating a task and expecting different results. Someone is due for a straight jacket.