Police First Deputy: Just Hiring More Officers Is Not Answer To Cutting Crime

CHICAGO (CBS) — Police First Deputy Supt. Al Wysinger says getting beat officers to know the community, and bringing in drug and gang units, are among the vital ways the department hopes to cut crime in the struggling Englewood and Harrison districts.

But Wysinger says simply hiring more police officers is not the answer.

On Monday, police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan to reduce violent crimes in the two districts.

The Englewood District includes the Englewood and West Englewood neighborhoods.

The Harrison District includes the East and West Garfield Park neighborhoods, as well as parts of Humboldt Park and North Lawndale.

The two districts combined account for nearly 25 percent of the murders and shootings citywide last year, and nearly a third of violent crimes in the first two weeks of 2012.

Wysinger explained that the plan to combat crime in the districts is a comprehensive strategy that involves more than just reassigning officers.

“We’re holding people accountable,” he said. “We want to start with beat integrity. On top of that, we’re going to put detectives there. We’re going to put gang investigators, we’re going to put gang enforcement, and tactical teams.”

Beat integrity, Wysinger explained, involves the same officers working the same beat every day, so that that they can get to know the communities better.

But more officers will also be assigned to both districts, Wysinger said.

“We’re going to give them combined in the 7th District a little over 120 officers per day, and in the Harrison District, a little over 150 officers per day,” he said.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police has said the issue is one of manpower, and the key to reducing crime is actually hiring more police officers instead of just reassigning the existing ones. But Wysinger does not agree.

“I have to agree with the superintendent, who has said consistently, until we get the most out of the officers we have, we can’t really go out and hire additional people,” Wysinger said. “It’s just bad management unless you’re being extremely effective and getting the most back for your buck. So until we can do that, we’re going to go with what we have.”

Wysinger said the problems plaguing the Englewood and Harrison Districts are multifold, but reducing crime should have a broader effect.

“It’s a lot of social ills there. There’s a lot of crime. There’s educational issues that are there, and just overall poverty, so cracking down on crime, I think, will be a catalyst to get everything else we need to jumpstart Englewood and the Harrison District,” he said.

The city saw reductions in gun violence across the board last year, except in the Englewood and Harrison districts. The murder rate was down everywhere by the Englewood District.

“Twenty-five percent of all gun crimes and homicides occur – about 25 percent – in those two areas,” Mayor Emanuel said Monday.

The new effort will also involve assistance from local churches and community groups. Also, Cmdr. Leo Schmidt of the Gang Enforcement Division has been sent to the Englewood District as commanding officer.

  • Chivi

    Yes all of you are so right!! Get rid of the corruption within the police department. Do not add more officers!! The police officers out there already know where the garbage is. They have been dealing with these for years! I’ve seen them have chummy chummy conversations with these criminals. Why do you need us to snitch if the cops know where to go. Yes!! They know exactly where to go.

  • Line Them Up For High Penetration

    Dont hire more Police, train the ones you have to shoot straight, practice, practice, practice, makes a safer hood.

  • Leroy Goldberg

    The answer to cutting crime is eliminating the problem. Once they are eliminated crime is no more and we achieve…………


    • Afro

      Very wise and accurate Leroy you, Agelo, YardApe and a few select others really should be in leadership positions

    • Leon Johnson

      Start in city hall,crime at its highest read the papers stealing ,handouts,and cronyism,saying DONT DO AS I DO <DO AS I SAY< you wont have no contracts or jobs just us and ill wil send a germany in your district, to stop and kill you by our law, only city going to steal all this money,thats our god,cause we HATE certain people.answer GOD will not be MOCK ask the world why it going BROKE<CHICAGO next.

  • Andrew Petersen

    Al is correct…..Sort of.

    Before Hiring More Police for this city; One needs to Fix the Police Departments low morale and top heavy management structure.

    We have Commanders and DC’s and AC’s and XO’s that are chummy with the Gangs they are actually supposed to be putting in Jail. We have PO’s and Sgts that are more concerned with their Side Jobs than engaging in Proactive Police Work. Morale is at an all time LOW thanks to 21 years under Daley and a Police Management system of letting the Reverends and Aldermen decide whom should be a Cop.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live