Chicago looks to double police recruitment efforts, officer community engagement to fight crime

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's police superintendent is out with new strategies to fight skyrocketing violence and crime in the city.

The new effort includes doubling police recruitment efforts, and officers engaging and building trust with community members.

A man dies after he's beaten during an altercation at an unauthorized New Year's Eve party, becoming the first murder victim in Chicago in the new year.

Anti-violence advocate Bamani Obedeli hopes the murder is not an indication of the crime to come in 2022.

RELATED: Chicago crime rate 2021: Year ends as city's deadliest in a quarter century
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As Chicago ends its deadliest year in more than a quarter century, Police Superintendent David Brown on Thursday promised more detectives to solve murders.

During a Tuesday afternoon news conference, which followed a weekly briefing the mayor gets from Chicago Police Department officials, Lori Lightfoot wants the public to know Chicago will hopefully be a safer in the new year as her administration's new public safety goals in place.

The short and long-term plan emphasizes community engagement, while expanding mental health, drug treatment and wrap-around services.

According to CPD data, 2021 ended with 400 homicides cleared amid a year where there were close to 800 murders, some 12,000 guns taken off the streets, and a doubling in the number of officers added to the city's vehicular hijacking task force.

"You can't arrest your way out of this," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said.

RELATED: BGA takes closer look at Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan to curb violence in 2022
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot has laid out a plan to curb violence across Chicago in the new year but her proposal is getting some push back, the BGA said.

Despite those gains, crime continues to skyrocket in the city.

Just Tuesday morning, there was a carjacking in the West Loop where an armed robber pepper sprayed the driver. Around the same time, a gang of thieves targeted two high-end stores along the Gold Coast, getting away with what could be tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise from the Burberry and Moose Knuckles on Walton Street.

While both the mayor and the superintendent admit that it has been a tough year, there are those in the community who are concerned that if there isn't a different approach to Chicago's crime, this year won't look any different than the last.
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