CPD initiative aims to reduce violence

June 16, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Superintendent McCarthy tonight addressed officers taking part in the program, but even as they got ready to hit the streets, two people, including a 16-year-old girl were shot just blocks away.

Some 100 Chicago police officers attended roll call in Englewood Saturday night.

Some are part of the three-day-old violence reduction initiative that encourages officers to sign up for overtime work on the weekends during the summer months.

"Believe it or not, every time you get out of the car you make a difference," said Chicago police superintendant Garry McCarthy. "Somebody is not going to carry a gun because they're getting engaged."

McCarthy said the additional officers are needed to make up for summer furloughs and to handle increased crime that traditionally occurs during June, July and August.

"This is the same program we've been doing since 2009," he said. "This is not something special in response to what's going on. It's just that during the summer we need more cops on the beach we need more cops on Michigan Avenue. We need more cops in the neighborhoods."

The overtime initiative comes on the heels of a particularly violent weekend, when 53 people were shot, nine fatally. This weekend has been significantly better.

Earlier superintendent McCarthy made a point of showing up at Humboldt Park's Puerto Rican festival, where he greeted people and posed for pictures.

"I like it," said Paul Levy. "I like that he's showing up in the community to personally supervise everything that's going on."

Currently 12,000 police officers patrol Chicago's city streets. It's not clear how effective an additional hundred can be over the course of a weekend.

The fraternal order of police has criticized the overtime initiative. They say, what is needed isn't overtime for existing officers, but for the city to hire more of them.

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