Intelligence, Technology Key In Chicago Crime War


After Chicago was the nation’s murder capital for two of the last four years, city and state officials vowed change, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Last year, Chicago tallied 448 homicides, 151 fewer than the previous year and the lowest total in 38 years. The Inquirer says Chicago has lessons to teach that cities such as Philadelphia and Camden, N.J., can learn. “What’s going on at the street level in Chicago is different from what’s going on at the street level in Philadelphia, but we can take that idea,” said Patrick Carr of the Institute of Violence Research and Prevention at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “But we need money and we need will.”

Chicago Police Superintendent Philip Cline said, “We’re trying to prevent crime rather than just reacting to it. We’re combining street intelligence with technology and flooding the neighborhoods – and at the same time, we’re attacking the biggest cause for our violence, which is gangs, guns and drugs.” The department, criminologists say, has fine-tuned policing strategies like CompStat, the computerized crime-mapping system used by Philadelphia. “They’ve honed in on practices developed elsewhere, particularly New York, and become more focused, more targeted,” said Eli Silverman, a professor of police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The Inquirer describes in detail how Chicago redeployed its police force.


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