Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis plans more foot and bike patrols, a crackdown on “quality-of-life crimes,” and a re-deployment of tactical teams to prevent the traditional surge in summer violence, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. He’s planning to use helicopter patrols on weekends in response to the gun violence that has claimed 20 Chicago Public School students this school year.
Taking a page from New York City’s “broken windows” theory of crime-fighting, Weis said Chicago officers need to start sweating the small stuff — such as public drinking and street gambling — when they’re not responding to violent crimes. “It’s important to focus on the quality-of-life issues. If you’re just patrolling and you don’t really have a call waiting you should never drive past something. Even though it may be a low-level crime, it makes members of the community feel safer.  We need to start addressing those more aggressively,” Weis said. Another official disclosed a schedule that calls for hiring 425 police officers this year — enough to keep pace with attrition and honor Mayor Richard Daley’s promise to put 75 more officers on the street.