CPD announce criminal takedown, new crimefighting plan

October 18, 2012 4:28:06 PM PDT
Chicago Police shut down two open-air drug markets and arrested several gang members in a criminal takedown across the city.

They also revealed a new plan to fight future crimes.

Police said they've taken 22 gang bangers off the street from a variety of gangs and they have also closed two open air drug markets, one on the North Side and one on the South Side.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel came to the 4th District to highlight what he said is a successful new strategy for fighting crime.

Emanuel shook hands with 4th District police personnel and community leaders, thanking them for helping lower the city's overall crime rate.

The mayor says that while shootings have increased, most other crime is significantly down, due in large part to the community's support.

"Until a child can go to school thinking about their studies and no their safety, we're not done," Emanuel said.

Tazama Sun says would-be criminals leave his neighborhood alone now that residents have cleaned it up and are more involved.

"We're not just living in that house and scared to come out, we're looking, and we're watching and we're making reports," Sun said.

The mayor has taken that plan citywide with what he calls a wraparound strategy. It includes putting more officers on the street.

Since starting it six months ago he said police have made nearly 1,500 arrests, seized 223 guns and $122 million worth of narcotics.

The mayor also plans to revamp the city's 911 response to add more officers to the street.

He wants officers responding to real emergencies where there is an imminent threat. 911 operators would transfer calls that require a less urgent response to 311, making more officers available for emergencies.

"So if we take some of those calls out of the hopper it will give our police officers more time to focus on pro-active crime fighting strategies," said Deputy Supt. Al Wysinger.

"If you're calling about a garage that was broken into over the weekend while you were away, there's no sense for the police officers to drop everything and consider that a priority call," said Alderman John Pope. "So it's really about prioritizing the calls and putting those police officers where they're most needed."

The city said that right now, 911 calls bring an officer about 70 percent of the time, compared about 30 percent in some other major cities.


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