Did Weis’ Controversial Gang Meeting Work?

CHICAGO (CBS) – He said his controversial meeting with hundreds of gang members would help fight crime, and on Sunday Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis has the numbers to prove it. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports at least 200 gang members have been arrested since last August.

Homicides are down too, some 40% in Chicago’s troubled 11th district. Apparently at Weis’s much maligned gang meeting leaders were given a warning. The first gang to commit a homicide would be the focus of an intense police crackdown and it happened just two weeks later. Sunday CBS 2 traveled to the West Side, and met residents who’ve witnessed that warning put into action.

Near his West Side home, Lieutenant Randle notices a change, “The police be here all the time, every day, ” said the 78-year-old who has lived in his West Side home for 41 years.

Nearby problems still make another man reluctant to show his face, but he talks about the difference as he says the community seems safer. “The drug activity is what I see from the past and it’s slowed down a lot because of the police activity.”

“It’s a significant reduction of violence in the 11th district and it’s manpower intensive, ” said Weis.

In announcing the declining crime stats and increasing arrests, Weis credited a program of intense patrols of identified and interconnected gang members.”We know we are targeting the activities of the right people.”

The process, called “Social Network Analysis, ” began back in August when Weis called together West Side gangs, warning them the first to be involved in a homicide would be targeted by police. At the time, Weis was criticized for so-called “negotiating” with gangs.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

“I think there was a lack of understanding of what really went down to say we were negotiating with these individuals. I think those numbers speak for themselves,” added Weis.

Take Homicides, at 34 through August of last year, they registered a 13 percent increase over the previous year. In the months following the gang call in, they fell to 15%, a 40% drop from 2009.

“When I first saw it I had mixed emotions like everyone else because I wasn’t sure about what was going on,” said 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr.

He is now speaking out in favor of the program. He said as a result he’s noticed fewer calls to his office from citizens complaining about drug activity.

Weis offers up the numbers he is reporting as proof the program works. When gang members are put on notice, they are also given the opportunity to connect with social service agencies that cold provide training or job concealing as an alternative to gang activity. In spite of the critics who are still out there, Weis is planning another gang call in within the next two weeks.

  • sick of it

    We’ll see what happens when the weather gets warm. That’s always the litmus test. Today, 2/13 was a warm day and I saw a lot of bangers walking around in packs.

    Next mayor HAS to put more cops on the street. Cops that show up when we call 911. Not show up 2 hours later, or not show up at all.

    How many of you have a feeling that Mayor Rahm is going to continue Daley’s way of running Chicago? I don’t believe Rahm will put ONE new cop out on the streets. You’ll see. He will be a cop-hater like Daley.

    • Streets iz watchn

      Drugs is the number 1 issue on the streets of chicago…..It leads to MOST of the murders …high crime area’s = drug infested communities….lack of work or Low wages government asstn ….foreclosures…..The few so called gang memebers are the scape goats…being used thru drug dealers so they controll the streets ….stop the drugs The violence will decrease….but its only half the problem

      invest more in these communities or the numbers will continue to rise no matter how you put a spin on it………..City’s like chicago,Philly,Ny,Memphis,Gary…..will keep high murder & crime rates until real change happens

      • Bill T.

        Gang bangers are not scape goats.That is a stupid comment.These people are the plague of our cities and country.The only worthwhile investment in those communities is more police.The only way to cure a disease,is to destroy it.

  • sick of it is and idiot

    Daley aint the only one who hates the crooked chicago cops…i think 80% of chicago hates the cops too! You mr “sick of it” are a fool.

    • BOOK 'EM

      Anybody who hates the cops had a few run-ins with them. Am I right?

      • Watcher

        Darn auto correct… “don’t” trust them…

      • Watcher

        No, some folks legitimately don’t like how cops treat people they know or just not trust them based on sheer observation. Everyone doesn’t see the same types of police behaviors. It depends on who you are…

  • masters

    Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis recently had a meeting and sent out emails to District Commanders chastising them for having their officers make arrests. Jody began asking why officers arrested particular individuals, the simple answer is they broke the law, Jody doesnt see it this way, he stated that he doesnt want anybody arrested for drinking/urinating or deficating in public/ having a few bags of cannabis, he wants the police to let them be to smoke weed freely and urinate in public free to let children and passersby see. Coming from the FBI he doesnt realize that officers cannot spend 5 years watching and tracking every drug dealers move with no short in supply, not knowing that what may be a trivial crime in his eyes is actually a building block in a case against that person. In short he is reprimanding the police for doing their jobs. He knows his days are numbered and wants to make everyone pay for it, but doing so at the cost of the taxpayers and residents of Chicago’s safety. Please address this issue and demand an answer from him, we need to protect the city and its people.

    • Streets iz watchn

      Serve and protect….Use real judgement…..Wasting time picking on drunks and teens trying to get high…compared to taking the REAL Bangers of the streets….You whining beat cops know where the hot area’s are Which gang memebers & drug dealers controll which area’s corners stores, mini marts, dollar stores, gas stations……..The kids arent stupid they watch you go by ignoring the REAL problems and picking on petty wasteless issues in these communities…WAKE UP…..Do what YOU really get paid for…..

  • In the thick of it

    Gangs have the attention span of a kitten.

  • bauer

    If you break the law you are going to jail (from)-(the guy in the white shirt)

  • Keith C

    What rock did Masters crawl out from. Uriniating in the street is a crime but Id rather have Mr Heroin seller in jail before we waste manpower for real crime arresting a “nasty” human being? An saturation of crime infested “hoods” work. I walk and live in those streets and the mere presense of the law is upsetting. Lets face it, the man is doin what he’s paid to do. I could care less if he’s like by his subordinates. They aint gettin paid to like Weis, they are getting paid to keep citizens safe and the stats dont lie

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