Chicago touts $410M plan to fight crime, but only fraction has been spent: Illinois Answers Project

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, February 18, 2023
Only fraction of Chicago's $410M anti-crime plan has been spent
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As Chicago violence continues, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is touting a $410 million plan to battle crime, but only a fraction of that money has been spent.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As violence continues to plague Chicago streets, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is touting a $410 million plan to battle crime.

However, records show the city has only spent about 6% of the money - roughly $25 million, by a generous estimate - a year into the five-year plan to use a one-time federal windfall and borrowed money to reduce violence.

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While the city has marketed its initiatives as innovative, several programs involve traditional services, rebranded as anti-crime efforts. For instance, the city has earmarked tens of millions of dollars to create more pickleball courts, rehab and sell vacant lots and speed up its response to 311 calls.

Experts on anti-violence initiatives say Chicago is doing the right thing by funding a range of programs aimed at helping people in need and fixing neighborhoods.

But they, said the city must spend the money efficiently. Illinois Answers Project took a closer look at how the money is currently being allocated. You can read more of their investigation here.