CHICAGO (CBS) — On Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s first full day in office, we’re hearing more details on the ways she plans to tackle gun violence, which she said will be her biggest challenge as mayor.
In an interview with CBS News national correspondent Jericka Duncan, Lightfoot said she plans a proactive approach to tackling gun violence as a public health crisis by better investing in neighborhoods to address the causes of violent crime.
“It means we bring resources to the communities so that they can grow; that we bring economic development opportunities to neighborhoods; that we work on providing wraparound services and job training in the neighborhoods so that people in those neighborhoods who don’t have a history of work actually have a pipeline to good paying jobs,” she said.
The new mayor said she will create a new Office of Public Safety to help fight crime in neighborhoods hit hardest by gun violence, in part by building better relationships between the Police Department and the community.
“You have to bring people together. They have to get comfortable with each other, which is why we are encouraging our officers to get out of their cars, walk the beat, get to know the community that they’re in. We will be bringing some additional changes both in training our new recruits and our veteran officers,” she said.
In her inaugural address, Lightfoot called the city’s epidemic of gun violence her biggest challenge as mayor.
“People cannot and should not live in neighborhoods that resemble a war zone. Enough of the shootings. Enough of the guns. Enough of the violence,” she said.
Lightfoot’s plans come ahead of Memorial Day weekend, which is historically violent in Chicago. Last year, 35 people were shot, six of them fatally.
On another note, Lightfoot didn’t waste time signing her first executive order shortly after her inauguration on Monday.
The order ends aldermen’s absolute control over licenses and permits in their wards.
“These practices have gone on for far too long, and this practice breeds corruption. Stopping it isn’t just in the city’s interest, it’s in the City Council’s interest,” Lightfoot said in her inaugural address.
Lightfoot said her administration would be lead by four guiding principles: safety, schooling, stability, and integrity.