CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel has long insisted it would take more than a police force to rid some neighborhoods of gangs, guns and drugs.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, with a 52 percent rise in the murder rate so far this year, the Emanuel administration is now rolling out the “community” component to its crime-fighting efforts.
“These streets belong to the people of the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports
It’s called the Strong Blocks/Safe Communities Gang Takedown and Community Wraparound Strategy, and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said it means, after police swoop down on a gang corner, city services follow – with street cleanups, repairs to street lights, and job-training.
“Once we make arrests, and we eliminate a narcotics organization, we are committed to holding onto that turf, to that territory, to squeeze out the drug market and the violence,”
Grand Crossing neighborhood resident Angela Franklin said she’s started seeing the positive effects in her neighborhood.
“Areas where gang members hang is kind of thinning out, some spaces are empty,” she said. “But we as community members, we need to make sure that those areas continue to stay empty.”
The police and the community are both working to do that.
“We’ve arrested more than 50 gang members, and we’re restoring the neighborhood for the citizens who live there, we’re instilling pride in that thriving community, and we expect lasting results,” McCarthy said.
Rev. A. Edward Davis, pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, said local residents must step up to hold onto their blocks.
“We must have, not just a partnership, but a covenant,” he said. “Too many of our young people are dying.”
Some activists said they are beginning to see positive effects of the new approach.