In Wake Of Homicide, Police Crack Down On West Side Gang

CHICAGO (STMW) – Nearly 200 gang members belonging to what the Chicago Police Department calls the most violent gang faction in the West Side’s Harrison District have been arrested as part of the department’s effort to crack down on gangs that are responsible for homicides, police Superintendent Jody P. Weis announced on Sunday.

The arrests are part of the Chicago Police Department’s ongoing violence reduction strategy which aims to make life difficult for gang members in the wake of gang-related homicides. In August of last year, Chicago Police initiated their strategy, informing gang members that the gang faction responsible for the next homicide in the Harrison District area would be held accountable for the violence through targeted, strategic enforcement efforts of law enforcement partners. When the Black Souls gang committed the first murder two weeks later, police said, they made themselves the target of this CPD strategy.

Subsequently, more than 60 arrests of members belonging to this faction were arrested, a release Sunday from Chicago police said.

At the same time Chicago Police were targeting the Black Souls in order to make good on the “call-in” promise, a distinct joint mission dubbed Operation Blue Knight already was underway to surveil the illegal drug trade of the Traveling Vice Lords, a faction which had been identified as the most violent gang in the Harrison District, the release said. Operation Blue Knight culminated in the arrest of more than 100 gang members, with more than 30 of these arrests for federal charges, and another 70 for state felony charges, the release said.

Following Operation Blue Knight, Chicago Police District law enforcement personnel and specialized units initiated supplemental action against the Traveling Vice Lords to reinforce the success of the mission. Chicago Police made multiple firearm recoveries and 90 more arrests of this faction’s members. Since the call-in, arrests and charges against Traveling Vice Lord members have included:

• 39 felony arrests
• 28 warrant arrests
• 53-narcotic-related arrests
• 6-weapons-related arrests

Weis announced the arrests at a press conference at police headquarters Sunday morning.

Weis noted that the violence reduction strategy has demonstrated promising results, including a 40 percent drop in homicides in the Harrison District between the initial call-in and the end of December 2010. Among other jurisdictions employing the call-in strategy, a 40 percent decrease was not seen until after the third call-in.

“We have gained momentum through this initiative and we won’t stop here,” Weis said. “The next call-in is on the horizon, and the message will be clear – the next gang-related homicide will receive the full attention of all law enforcement partners,” he added.

Weis emphasized the call-in strategy involves offering social service aid to gang members, as well as job training and continuing education. Comprehensive enforcement action only is the result of gang members continuing to engage in illegal activities, he said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • mike

    I think what CPD is doing is great. All gangs are involved in drug sales and with heat from cpd on them they are not going to be able sell the drugs and bring in revenue. Only a matter of time before they start handing the police the shooters on a silver platter just so the heat goes away and they can make their illegal money.

  • Bad Headline

    Headline: “In Wake Of Homicide, Police Crack Down On West Side Gang”. So THAT’S what it takes. Get out there and pull those triggers, losers! To the 99% of men and women who deserve to wear the CPD badge…Keep safe.

  • Rickey

    The police are doing a fine job of cracking down on these devils. The people that are running for mayor of the city of Chicago should think twice before letting Supt. Weis go.

    As for all these urban terrorist, all these punks should go in front of a firing squad and be killed. Killing the devils will be good for the city. Then these devils will have the nerves to think that you all have gone crazy, but in reality these urban terrorist are very crazy.

    Get them out of society immediately. No more baby sitting. Time to get more conservative.

  • Michael J Faber

    I think that jody weis has done a fantastic job with cleaning up crime and that. There is no reason to let a good officer go. Everyone is so quick to point the finger. Look at the good things that he has brought to the department. My grandfather who was a police chief out in northlake for a long time. He passed away along time ago. He would salute mr jody weis on a job well done.

  • Centurion

    The CPD arrests 200…and then they release them on their own recognizance. WAY TO GO CPD. Now, if you truly want to CRACKDOWN on these homies…ARREST…..EXECUTE…and voila…no more gang. This will also send a warning to the other 50,000 homie gangmembers in the area. ITS OPEN SEASON ON FOLKS AND PEOPLE!

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