CPD discusses trends in crime, policing at Chicago summit

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Police departments and FBI agents met Wednesday to work on new ways to fight the nation's crime. (WLS)

Police departments and FBI agents met Wednesday to work on new ways to fight the nation's crime.

The group meeting included the chiefs of police from the country's 12 largest cities, along with representatives from the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The police chiefs who attended the two-day conference sponsored by the University of Chicago all reported that violent crime, including murder, had increased in their cities in recent years.

"Last year, we had an increase that was the highest homicide total we'd had in the last 25 years," said Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.

Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said this regression cannot continue.

"We can't allow our cities to go back to where we were in the early 90's," she said.

In Chicago, the city registered its deadliest day in 13 years this past Monday when 19 people were shot, nine of them fatally. On Tuesday, three people were killed and another 15 were wounded due to gun violence.

The Chicago Police Department also received alleged threats from gangs in two of Chicago's most dangerous districts.

"It's not going to make us panic but it will make us concerned and make sure that we make out officers as safe as we can," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

Former gang enforcer and now anti-violence activist Wallace "Gator" Bradley said he doesn't believe gangs could agree on such a plot and wondered why police have not arrested anyone.

"If the police even had an inkling of a thought that someone was going to do that, they would have kicked the doors in to catch them," Bradley said.

The police chiefs also said they discussed gun laws and lax prosecutions that allow violent criminals back on their city's streets.

Johnson insisted Chicago had progressed in restoring public trust in his department. He mentioned how quickly he stripped police powers from officers involved in the Paul O'Neal shooting as an example.

"We are trying to make fundamental changes," Johnson said. "We released that video in seven days regarding that police-involved shooting. When have you ever seen that?"
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