CHICAGO (CBS) — Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was cautious Friday in his reaction to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s assessment that the Police Department was slow to react to changes in gang structures as street gangs became more fractured and violent crime spiked.
McCarthy acknowledged it took several months after he took over the Police Department in 2011 to see how splintered street gangs had become, after many top gang members had been arrested and imprisoned, leaving gangs with little or no structured leadership.
While speaking during a session at the Brookings Institution on Thursday, the mayor said the city has made progress in reducing crime, but said as shootings and violent crime spiked in 2012, the department was slow to react to the changing gang structure.
McCarthy said he hasn’t spoken to the mayor about his comments, but said “What I suspect is that he’s referring to the historical perspective of what has happened here in the city of Chicago.”