Community reacts to CPD crime plan

April 21, 2010 (CHICAGO)

The CPD outlined a plan to use computer predictions of crime to determine where officers were be deployed on Tuesday. Supt. Jody Weis said the information will be generated twice a day.

Englewood is one of the areas police call a hot spot. While children still play outside, some neighbors said they're taking a risk -- even in the middle of the day. Vivian Woolfolk said she hears gunfire all the time.

"At night, in the day, morning, afternoon. On the weekends, through the week. It's just all the time," said Woolfolk.

Following three violent weeks, the police department announced a new strategy using technology that Supt. Weis hopes will help prevent another violent summer. The plan is to put block-by block computer analysis into the hands of police officers.

"Our deployment operations center will give a map, if you will, of where we anticipate, where the highest probability of violence will be to our deputy chiefs and district commanders and unit commanders twice a day," said Supt. Jody Weis.

Out of 22,000 city blocks, Weis said his data shows that the most violent crimes occur in 9-percent of them. That is where Weis said there will be a saturation of officers. The anti-violence group Cease Fire believes the 9-percent number is too low.

Illinois director Tio Hardiman says the key is changing the mindset of someone about to commit a crime...

"No matter how much you analyze it or put into the computer network system, it is a person against person type of situation. We have to find a way to get on the front end as much as we can," said Tio Hardiman, Cease Fire.

Some Englewood residents say parental responsibility is the key to curbing violence. Others say it's time for police officers to get out of their cars.

"The parents are allowing kids to be on the street at a certain time of night and when they get hurt they wonder why their kids are out here and they don't know where they're at," said Cornell Weathers, Englewood resident.

""What you really need are officers on foot patrols, so they can get to know the community, get to know the children," said Woofolk. Residents say if police patrolled the streets on foot they would learn about individual efforts that are going on in the neighborhoods to combat violence.

The police department's new plan begins next week. Supt. Weis is asking for 100 officers to volunteer to be part of a summer long strategic response team. Those officers will saturate the city's hot spots.

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