Weis: New gang strategy nabs sixty

October 27, 2010

WBEZ/Wilenski

Chicago police say they've made 60 arrests in the first two months of a pilot program targeting gang activity. Superintendent Jody Weis says the strategy of cracking down on an entire gang for one member's actions has cut down on homicides in other cities.

The 60 arrests were preceded by an unrelated homicide involving a different gang member, police say.

"(Gang leaders) are told that this is not a negotiation," Weis said at a press conference announcing the mass arrests, which police say were mostly drug related.
 
"The next gang that kills someone, particularly the first homicide after the meeting will receive comprehensive enforcement attention to any and all crimes that any of the members are committing," Weis said. 
 
Weis drew criticism from some quarters for announcing the plan several weeks ago, and reportedly informing gang leaders of the initiative. For now police say they're implementing the program only in Chicago's Garfield Park neighborhood. Weis says if the program succeeds he hopes to expand it to other parts of the city.
 

Prosecutors were unable to immediately confirm whether they were proceeding with criminal charges against those arrested.