Police see crime drop after crackdown

February 10, 2012

Michell Eloy

(WBEZ/Michell Eloy)
Police Superintedent Garry McCarthy speaks about crime data in historically violent districts.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Friday that crime is significantly down in two districts historically plagued by violence as a result of an initiative aimed at targeting gangs and drug markets in those areas.

McCarthy said murders in the Englewood (7th) and Harrison (11th) districts have dropped by a combined 63 percent compared to the same time last year, while shootings are down 36 percent.

The announcement comes less than a month after the department launched the Violence Reduction Initiative, adding extra police and narcotics officers to concentrate efforts on the two districts in order to bring down crime numbers city-wide.

"A day without shootings. Fifty-six hours without a shooting, like we did a couple of days ago. A week without a murder in this city. These are benchmarks that we build upon our successes. That is not declaring victory," said McCarthy on Friday.

McCarthy said federal agencies currently partnering with city police will now start putting more agents in the Englewood and Harrison districts.

Among other partnerships, the Drug Enforcement Agency will add three teams of officers to work on short- and long-term narcotics missions with the CPD Gang Intelligence and Narcotics unit. The Federal Bureau of Investigation will aid shooting investigative teams in both districts, as well.

"While all those resources have existed, they have not existed and focused in a concentrated fashion to come in behind where the police department has acted. That's what's unique here," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

McCarthy said the two districts have accounted for a fourth of the overall crime in Chicago in recent years.