CHICAGO (WLS) -- There are stunning new crime numbers from the FBI: in Chicago, it isn't just murders and shootings that are up - it is all violent crime.
Newly-obtained FBI data show that the crime surge in Chicago goes beyond the end of a gun. Overall violent crime - an umbrella figure that includes murder, rape, robbery and assault - jumped significantly here the first half of last year, an increase more than four times higher than the rest of the nation.
According to this FBI report, violent crime in the U.S. increased a little more than five percent the first half of last year. But in Chicago during the same period, overall violent crime heaved 24 percent.
While the numbers were driven by a surge in Chicago murders - 49 percent higher than the previous year - FBI data show the increase in all violent crime categories in Chicago is significantly outpacing the nation, with aggravated assault up 23 percent
and robbery 28 percent higher.
The FBI report shows a drop nationally in property crimes but not in Chicago, where property crime numbers jumped 6 percent, according to the federal stats.
There were 762 murders in all of last year and more than 3,500 shootings - figures that got most of the attention were mostly gang-related crimes, according to police.
"If you're a leader or policy maker that has anything to do with Cook County or the CIty of Chicago you should find it reprehensible that we had over 700 homicides last year. That's just, it's unacceptable. And if you think that's OK, then I have a problem with you," Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said on January 1.
But the FBI report reveals other problems - crime numbers that are broader than just gangs and drugs - with sex crimes, assaults, robberies and property crimes all up in the first half of last year, and no reason to believe they abated in the second half.
The FBI records suggest there is no escaping the violent trend in at least two of Chicago's largest suburbs. According to the new report, violent crime in northwest suburban Elgin was reported up 28 percent and in southwest suburban Joliet, the spike was 31 percent.
STATEMENT FROM CHICAGO POLICE ON 2016 VIOLENCE:
"The violence in 2016 was driven by emboldened offenders who did acted without a fear of penalty from the criminal justice system," said Superintendent Eddie Johnson. "The challenge we face as a city is serious, and like other cities it is significant. We will be adding to our police department, we are committed to partnering with residents, we will benefit from the investments being made by the Mayor, and if we come together and work together I know we can turn the tide in 2017."
Information on 2016
Five police districts on the south and west sides of the city accounted for nearly two thirds (65%) of the increase in murders.
Five police districts on the north and northwest sides of the city actually saw declines in murders, or remained flat in 2016.
The majority of the violence that occurred in 2016 was not random. More than 80% of fatal and nonfatal shooting victims in 2016 were previously identified by CPD as being likely to be involved in an act of gun violence either as a victim or an offender.
In total there were 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims in 2016. These totals represent a completely unacceptable rise in violence. According to two reports from the Brennan Center for Justice and the University of Chicago Crime Lab, this is similar to increases being seen in other major cities including: Boston, San Antonio, San Jose, San Diego, Memphis, Austin, Indianapolis and others.
Attacks on CPD officers nearly doubled in 2016 as offenders grew more emboldened. This also mirrors trends happening around the country.
CPD officers recovered 8,200 guns, a 20% increase from 2015, and officers made 9% more gun arrests in 2016.
Plans for the future:
Enhanced Crime Fighting Strategy - For our part, in 2017, the Chicago Police Department will be implementing a series of initiatives that aim to reduce violence, increase the capability of our police officers, and build public trust. Elements of our enhanced strategy are based on national best practices currently underway in major cities. A major component will be the creation of district based intelligence centers so that crime plans and deployments can be more custom-tailored to the individual nuances and patterns in communities. These centers will be staffed with district intelligence officers and crime analysts from the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The first two districts that will be operational are 7 and 11 on January 20th, 2016.
This strategy will also place a heavy emphasis on creating a culture of accountability for repeat violent offenders so that we actually have meaningful deterrents to gun crime and trigger pullers think twice about the consequences for their reckless actions. In addition CPD is working with our newly-elected partners in the States Attorney's Office to strengthen how we investigate and prosecute gun cases.
This fall Mayor Emanuel outlined a comprehensive public safety plan, a major component of which is based on policing needs identified by Superintendent Johnson.
By 2018, CPD will add nearly 1,000 more police officers to the department, including beat officers, detectives, lieutenants, sergeants, field training officers and more. This hiring will be in addition to plans already in place to fill any vacancies in the police department today. The Mayor is making mentoring universal for young men in the 20 most violence-prone neighborhoods (see attached map).
The Mayor is investing in the economic growth of our neighborhoods through several approaches including incentives for commercial retail and industrial developers as well as additional investment dollars through the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and Community Catalyst Fund.
The Superintendent is partnering with members of the state legislature on a bill that would finally increase sentencing for repeat gun offenders - a key factor in reducing violence on Chicago's streets. We are hopeful the bill we pass in January, and that it will spare lives that would otherwise be needlessly lost in 2017.
CPD will remain focused on enhancing technology, training and transparency to tackle our challenges with violence, which are driven by repeat gun offenders. Here are some additional ways CPD is working to improve public safety:
Body Cameras - 2,100 officers covering seven districts, or one-third of the city, are now utilizing body worn use in seven police districts, and have taken more than 300,000 segments of footage. Patrol Officers from all 22 Districts will be trained and utilizing body worn cameras
by the end of 2017.
ShotSpotter - We are also investing in expanding gunshot detection systems across the city to help officers fight crime smarter, respond to incidents faster and work their beats more effectively. By the end of the first quarter the 7th and 11th Districts will have coverage across the full regions.
POD Cameras - This year over 44 new street cameras have been added to the 7th and 11th Police Districts, supporting detectives' ability to clear cases and patrol officers ability to dynamically respond to crime.
Taser - Today, every officer responding to calls is trained to use and has in their possession a Taser so that officers can utilize the least amount of force necessary to address a disturbance.
Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) - CPD has trained more than 2,400 officers in scenario-based de-escalation and force-mitigation skills to best serve individuals facing mental health conditions, trauma and crisis situations. As a result through October of 2016, 13,258 CIT identified events were responded to by CIT trained officers, up from just 2,938 over that same period in 2015. CPD implemented new in-service, scenario-based training on force-mitigation skills and tactics to help officers recognize the signs of mental illness, trauma and crisis
New Leadership - Superintendent Johnson created a new Bureau of Professional Standards responsible for implementing reform and appointed Chief Anne Kirkpatrick to lead it. In addition, Commander Dan Godsel was appointed to lead the Education and Training Division to help Deputy Chief Calloway improve recruit, in-service and field training programs.
Revised Use of Force Policy - For the first time in the Department's history, the draft policy placing a heavy emphasis on the sanctity of life was released for public comment, underscoring CPD's commitment to transparency and accountability.
Community Policing Advisory Panel - Enhancing our strategic community engagement efforts to foster stronger partnerships and reaffirm our commitment to community-based policing. By the end of the first quarter of 2017, the Superintendent's Community Policing Advisory Panel, made up of local and national experts in the field as well as community residents, will make their recommendations for a revised community policing strategy.
Police Accountability Task Force - At the beginning of 2016, the Mayor convened a task force to provide recommendations for police reform. Following four 3-hour community forums with more than 750 attendees, the Task Force presented recommendation in key areas of de-escalation, transparency, accountability, mental health first response and community engagement. In November a progress report was released summarizing the implementation of more than one-third of those recommendations.
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