Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city is on right track fighting crime

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ByWill Jones via WLS logo
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot credits the focus on guns, gangs and investment in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods for the decline in shootings and homicides.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Public safety is a top concern for many residents in Chicago, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she believes the city is making progress tackling crime.

She credits the focus on guns, gangs and investment in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods for the decline in shootings and homicides.

"Our data-driven strategy recognizes that that's where we need to put the lion's share of our investments, our time, our education, our outreach," she said.

Although homicides and shootings are down from historic highs last year, overall crime is still up.

"The biggest challenge I think that we face is we've got to make sure that these young people put down the guns, and we've got to make more progress on carjackings," she said.

Through July of this year, officers have taken nearly 7,400 guns off the streets and responded to about 1,000 carjackings, according to Chicago Police Department data.

Even neighborhoods viewed as traditionally safe have seen a rise in crime. Crime downtown has scared off some residents, tourists and even companies.

"We've got to focus on those numbers that we've seen tip up that I'm not happy with and aren't acceptable," Lightfoot said.

But she pushes back on the perception that downtown is unsafe.

Reactions among residents are mixed on the mayor's job performance on crime.

Some argue crime has been a problem in the city for decades and it won't be fixed overnight.

"It's been here. It is just getting (worse) and (worse) by the day so a person can only do so much," said Chicago resident Sharon Mack.

Pastor Donovan Price, who often works with victims of gun violence and their families, believes the mayor could do much more.

He wants Lightfoot to spend time talking with residents in high crime neighborhoods about what they're facing and their needs.

"There is an old adage that it's not how much work you do, it is how much work your boss sees you trying to do. So we are her boss," Price said.