CHICAGO (CBS) — Police officials are hoping to use some big names to counteract the “Don’t Snitch” mentality that protects gang members and violent criminals in some neighborhoods.
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the initiative is in its early stages, but he acknowledged the department has been talking to local celebrities about joining a campaign urging people to end the “code of silence” about gang crimes, and criminals in their midst.
Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), a former police officer, said it might work.
“They always use celebrities to reach a certain audience, and – whether it be a Derrick Rose, or whether it be a senior adult who has respect in whatever capacity they have – we want to use whoever we can to get this message across,” Cochran said.
The aldermen said there will always be some people who feel it’s bad to talk to the police about crimes they’ve witnessed or otherwise know important information about, but he said he wants to reduce the “Don’t Snitch” phenomenon.
“People will make their own judgment calls, but somebody, somebody – even if it’s only one, two, three, five people – who help us solve a crime, and get the outcomes, and prevent future crimes, that will be helpful,” he said.
McCarthy said he’s approached “a number of” local celebrities “and they’re all very interested,” but he declined to specify who he’s spoken to.
“I’ll let you know when they agree,” he said.