Amid a 35 percent spike in murders this year, Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy reshuffled his command staff, replacing commanders in five of the city's 23 districts, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. McCarthy also promoted three supervisors to deputy chief positions. He said the changes were made to “strengthen the department's ongoing efforts to reduce violence” and create a “more efficient departmental structure.”
As of Thursday, there have been 114 murders this year, up 35 percent from last year. Through March 18, crime has dropped 10 percent in the city compared with 2011. Because of the spike in gang-related murders, McCarthy is putting together an anti-gang strategy that includes getting patrol officers detailed information about gangs in their districts; keeping tactical officers in their districts to fight gang crime instead of assigning them outside the district, and improving the exchange of gang intelligence among the patrol division, gang units and detectives. In 2008, newly appointed Superintendent Jody Weis swept out 21 of 25 district commanders and replaced the first deputy and other top brass.