Chicago police superintendent, mayor detail summer safety strategy ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, police Superintendent David Brown and other community leaders gathered on the South Side Friday morning to detail their summer safety strategy.

Police have canceled days off for officers, and they'll be working 12-hour shifts. But the mayor said the safety plan involves much more than law enforcement.

"It's not more law enforcement capacity," CPD Supt. David Brown said. "It's bringing more partners in to address some of the root causes of violence."

"We owe it to all of our residents in every neighborhood to bring peace and vibrancy back," Lightfoot said. "Accomplishing this mission, we know is not easy, nor can it be done alone."

The message that police can't do it alone isn't new, but the city says what is new is the planning that began months ago.

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Mayor Lightfoot and CPD Supt. Brown detailed their summer safety strategy Friday.

The strategy calls for city departments, including the park district, libraries, and CPS to coordinate with community partners, including faith leaders, violence prevention and youth services organizations.

RELATED: Chicago shootings: 108 children shot, 16 dead so far this year, police say

The city is planning to focus resources on 15 "hot spot" areas Lightfoot said are responsible for more than half the city's violence, based on data from the past three summers.

The efforts are centered in four zones including the following neighborhoods: North Lawndale, West Garfield Park, South Shore, Austin, West Humboldt Park, Greater Grand Crossing, Pullman, Roseland, East Garfield Park, South Chicago And Auburn Gresham.

"We are flooding these zones with resources and supports for families, for young people," Lightfoot said.

RELATED: Chicago Police Department hiring civilians for community-focused jobs ahead of summer

"Providing young people with meaningful, positive connections in their neighborhoods is a key part of the summer safety strategy," Lightfoot said.

But with the mayor and CPD brass getting a no-confidence vote from the police union, some are skeptical.

"At the core of protecting our communities is the police department, and you have to address that first," Lopez said. "Otherwise, everything else will be a wasted venture."

These first five months of this year have been especially violent. The number of Chicago shooting victims is up 34% from the same period last year.
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