CHICAGO (CBS) – After defending the city’s nationwide image when it comes to violent crime while appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he believes Chicagoans can see the progress the city has made, and know how much culture the city has to offer.
“I want to see it faster. I know that doesn’t come as a surprise to some of you. I want to see it yesterday, I want to see it more, … I don’t want to make the phone calls to the individual mothers and grandmothers I have to make anymore. I don’t want to do that” he said. “That said, I think people will start to see the progress we’re making, and they already have.”
WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the mayor said he understands he’ll face questions about Chicago crime when making such national appearances, despite progress in reducing crime.
Emanuel insisted people will see that the city’s reputation encompasses much more than crime.
“We’re an architectural capital, we’re a culinary capital, a theater capital,” he said. “The Art Institute was rated the number one art museum in America, and number three worldwide. And people will start to see the progress we’re making of having taken an intractable problem, and start to solve it.”
Emanuel was at the Gresham District police station on Tuesday to report on expanded foot patrols in the area.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the Police Department’s “Operation Impact” strategy of saturating high-crime areas with increased foot patrols has worked in cutting down on gun violence in Chicago.
He said, in the 20 “Operation Impact” areas across the city, “shootings are down 48 percent, murders are down 45 percent, and overall crime is down 29 percent.”
The mayor people in the neighborhoods see the difference.