Mayor Emanuel defends crime strategy - New York News

Mayor Emanuel defends crime strategy, implies former administration at fault for violence

Updated: Apr 13, 2012 12:51 PM CDT
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he's not happy with the surge in Chicago violence - but he's not taking all the blame for it either.

In the first three months of this year, the city has seen a 60 percent rise in homicides compared to the same period in 2011.

He didn't name names, but he implied it was an inherited problem.

"The rise in homicides, close to 70 to 80 percent of them, is all gang-on-gang or gang reprisals," Emanuel said. "Our police department, until this time, never really had a true gang audit of who was in what gang. Who's on parole? Who's on probation? What were they in for to finally deal with the reprisals so you have a proactive gang strategy [instead of] a reactive one."

Mayor Emanuel said his police are cracking down on curfew violators, liquor stores that harbor drug dealers, and the tracking gangs through an audit.

He has also shifted 600 officers to problem spots and spending money on summer programs for kids.

"You can say, 'Are you doing it right,'" Emanuel said, "but the question is, 'Why were those policies not done before?'"

Yet, the superintendent of police has refused to return calls from one organization known for diffusing violence before it happens.

Ceasefire's Tio Hardiman said he has tried repeatedly to reach out to Superintendent Garry McCarthy since he stepped into the post.

"We've made several phone calls to the superintendent to see if we can help him strategize and help cool things down," Hardiman said.

Hardiman's organization worked with some of Chicago's previous superintendent Phil Cline when the city was known as the murder capital of the country.

He said gang audits are just one tool, but he points out that Chicago cannot "arrest" its way out of the violence. Right now, Hardiman said the gangs are breaking off into little factions and cliques.

"The gangs are not like they used to be where one guy is calling all the shots," Hardiman said. "You have a lot of renegades. You have guys going to sleep at night thinking who they are going to shoot the next day. It's more of a ‘thinking problem.' It's about behavior."

His group goes into the hot spots when they hear about a brewing problem.

Admittedly, he said there are times when his group can not quell the violence and in those cases, they notify police.

Hardiman hopes McCarthy will figure out a solution

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