Police Supt. Eddie Johnson Sets Plans For A Safer 2017

CHICAGO (CBS) – 2016 was one of the deadliest years in Chicago in decades.

762 people were murdered last year, but on Sunday, Superintendent Eddie Johnson is aiming to bring that number down in 2017.

CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar has more on those plans.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson recognized the bloody year in Chicago, but he is optimistic that technology could be one piece in reducing crime in the city.

“It’s no secret the city of Chicago had its fair share of challenges in 2016,” Johnson said.

One of the biggest challenges of 2016 was 762 people were murdered in 35,000 shooting incidents, despite gains in gun arrests, according to CPD statistics.

Johnson said most of the crime is happening in just five of the 22 police districts on the South and West Sides.

“It’s not normal to see shootings and murders like this,” Johnson said.

And in just the first hours of 2017, the carnage continued. Among several overnight shootings, two people are dead, after shooting each other inside a business in the Uptown neighborhood.

And in a separate incident near 125th and State, a police officer shot a man in his 40s twice after allegedly leading police on a chase and fighting with officers. Three police were hospitalized.

“We will make 2017 a safer year for the city of Chicago,” Johnson said.

A confident Johnson announced a three-pronged approach to crime in 2017.

He will call on lawmakers to increase penalties for repeat gun offenders, while increasing community engagement and partnerships, along with data drive policing.

Some of the data and technology comes from shot spotter, detecting and locating gun shots in an intelligence room. The tool will soon cover 13-square miles. Later this month, the 7th and 11th districts will also be able to monitor shootings in real time.

“If we get the tools we need and the help we need,” Johnson said. “I guarantee 2017 will be a better year than 2016.”

Johnson also announced a plan to bring nearly 1,000 officers in the next two years. Also about 44 additional surveillance cameras will go up this year.

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