Addressing violence on Chicago streets and the perception that the city is dangerous, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he will add 500 police officers and revamp the community policing initiative called CAPS.
But the mayor said stopping the violence- and protecting children-- is his priority.
"Because her child is a child of the city of Chicago. And no child, regardless, of where they live, is not to be of… somewhere else. They are in our city and they are our responsibility," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday during the Chicago City Council meeting.
The mayor outlined his plans to combat violence on Chicago streets and turn around the perception that the city is dangerous. They include:
- swearing in 457 police academy graduates in December
- holding the first sergeant's exam since 2006
- setting aside money to pay off-duty police overtime on the weekends as part of a "surge" strategy deemed effective for special events
- turning around the community policing initiative, called CAPS, which is designed to get officers building relationships within communities.
"We will move all our CAPS resourcing and staffing back into the districts where they belong so each commander in each district can design their own community policing efforts to fight crime and gangs in their respective neighborhoods," Mayor Emanuel said.
"You need to have that," Jody Weis, ABC7 public safety expert and former Chicago police superintendent said. "You don't want to have them sitting in offices. It is critical to get these guys in the streets because that is how you build a bond."
Michelle Boddie hopes the strategy works in the area near 79th and Ashland, which is a hotbed of gang violence.
"I am on the street. I am catching the bus taking my kids back and forth. I don't have a vehicle, you know, so I would want to be safe, I would want them to be safe," Boddie said.
But Tffany Colston thinks it's just more the same from City Hall.
"I believe he found money by taxing us a little bit more, that's what I. So, yeah, he found some money," Colston said.
Critics say 500 officers are not enough.