CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police are moving back toward community policing – by having officers on foot in some of the most violence-prone neighborhoods.
The police have identified the areas of the city that are the most violent and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says already more officers are working those zones – in cars.
“In the coming months, you are going to see more assigned foot patrols phased into all the zones.”
The move drew praise from some South Side aldermen who have been critical of McCarthy.
“Some 40 years ago my father was a police officer and walked a beat,” said 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins. “We’ve gone too much to the technology, too much to cars, horses and all terrain vehicles and not enough to the old fashioned policing.”
McCarthy says the first group of foot patrol officers is at work in one of the most violent police districts: Gresham, the site of Mr. G’s.
“To start it here, would be excellent, considering what took place at Mr. G’s, it’s excellent” said Gresham resident Matthew Moore.
Just last week, seven people were shot during a rap album release party at Mr. G’s. People told CBS 2’s Jay Levine they’ve had enough.
“Walk everywhere. If you could have police with cameras, do that, We need them because it’s terrible out here,” said Gresham resident Tiara David.
McCarthy says as police officers graduate from the academy, some will be moved into other problem zones for foot patrol duty.
“What I like to call a return to community policing. And in this case, it’s the same officers in the same zones – every single night.”
On another topic – whether police have the manpower to provide safe passage for students going to new schools after their old schools were closed – McCarthy says it will just mean a shift in manpower.