CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago’s new top cop is relying on a strategy that uses statistics to predict and prevent crime.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine was invited to observe first-hand how “Compstat” is working so far –- and how Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is leaning on his higher-ups to get results.
“We’ve got eight consecutive weeks of 20-percent reductions in crime — that’s pretty darn significant,” McCarthy says. “Imagine when we get better at it.”
McCarthy alternates between good cop and bad cop during his weekly Compstat meeting with area, district and unit commanders. TV cameras have never been allowed behind the closed doors.
“I’m not hearing a sense of urgency. I’m not satisfied with the answers that I’m hearing,” McCarthy tells his subordinates. “This isn’t going to go on like this, folks, of that I can assure you.”
When Levine tells him later he was pretty rough on some of them, McCarthy disagrees.
“That wasn’t so tough, because I didn’t fire anybody or throw them out of the room,” he said.
McCarthy doesn’t let up because of a promise he made to his boss, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in June -– that he wants to reduce shootings by more than 10 percent.
And over the last eight weeks, murders are down 17 percent, shootings are down 20 percent; all major crimes are down 10 percent, compared to the same period a year ago. That has happened, according to the Fraternal Order of Police, while manpower is down 13 percent and as the police department is making due with 1,600 fewer officers.
“If we’re down 1,600, the question is, where are they and what were they doing?” McCarthy says. “Because now we’ve got them on the front line fighting the fight, and we have more cops in districts than we did last year and the results are starting to show.”
We’ve all heard the expression “no pain, no gain.” That’s especially true on Thursdays, when McCarthy holds Compstat meetings.
Every commander gets a turn on the hot seat. Down the line he goes, to Cmdr. Robert Lopez, who is in charge of apprehending fugitives.
When Lopez tells McCarthy he anticipates one subject will be showing up in court Oct. 3, McCarthy shoots back with a question: “We’re gonna hope that he shows up in court?”
A major part of this week’s Compstat session was spent dealing with a virtual gang war on the South Side.
To make Compstat work, you need accurate intelligence, which is supplied by a variety of specialists. That intelligence leads to rapid deployment.
The next step, according to Compstat, is effective tactics and relentless follow up.
“When we identify people, I want them in custody,” McCarthy said. “I don’t want murderers out there for two and three and four weeks. I’m not seeing a sense of urgency here, folks.”