Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy tells the Chicago Sun-Times that the city's strategy to reduce gang violence is “clearly taking root,” pointing to a major decrease in gang-related shootings. Those types of shootings have fallen sharply over the early months of this year compared with the same period of 2013, now representing less than half of the total number of shooting incidents in Chicago. “It's not an accident, it's not the weather — it's a trend,” the superintendent said.
McCarthy said police officials from other cities have been coming to Chicago to learn about his gang violence reduction strategy launched about a year ago. Baltimore's top cop came to Chicago for a look and sent his commanders to observe one of McCarthy's CompStat meetings — in which police supervisors are quizzed about what they're doing to combat crime problems in their jurisdictions. “Baltimore is putting a lot of effort into replicating what we're doing,” McCarthy said. The strategy relies on “gang audits” that provide updated information on Chicago's 600 gang factions and their members. After a shooting, commanders in the city's 22 police districts receive intelligence reports on the gangs involved and mobilize their officers to prevent retaliation. “Almost our entire focus is stopping the next shooting,” McCarthy said.