Chicago police outline summer crime plan

April 21, 2010 4:45:15 AM PDT
Chicago police have outlined their initiative to stop violence and keep city streets safe during the summer.

Police Superintendent Jody Weis said officers will use high-tech equipment in high-crime areas.

After 15 months in decline, Weis conceded there has been a recent uptick in violent crime. New data analysis, though, shows it is confined to a remarkably small area.

Police leaders plan to use technology to track upticks in crime as they happen. So far mapping crime hot spots has shown Weis that most violent crime occurs on just 9 percent of the city's blocks.

"Now we're trying to focus down on specific city blocks," said Weis. "Some of these areas are literally a two-block area that can be covered easily by a handful of police officers."

Police will use a 100-person rapid response team. Where and when they deploy will be determined by a computer that updates crime trends every 12 hours.

The old system offered only weekly updates.

However, technology alone cannot combat morale problems made worse last week by the decision to grant officers only a 2 percent per year pay raise.

"I think in today's financial times, to get a 2 percent a year raise is in keeping with the cost of living," said Weis. "We look at a lot of other municipalities and police officers are getting laid off, which is a horrible situation which thank God we don't have that in chicago."

Despite the rumbling on the street, Weis said he is confident they will protect each other and the public.

Weis will also travel to Springfield to make another push for mandatory prison time for those caught with guns within the city limits.


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