CHICAGO (CBS) — The crime count for the weekend in Chicago has officially started. With Chicago in the crosshairs, community leaders prepare for more work ahead after a violent holiday with a new tool they use to get ahead of potential violence.
The Fourth of July weekend violence is not stopping, but motivating South Side community leader Autry Philips with Target Area Development Corporation.READ MORE: Cook County Offers Assistance With Eviction Moratorium Ending; Landlords Say Moratorium Has Had Their Hands Tied
“We have to continue to move forward,” he said. “We have to continue to strategize.”
The strategy last week involved hitting the streets of Englewood, Chatham and Auburn Gresham. Shifts started at 4 p.m. and last until 3 a.m.
This year also included the intentional role of priests and prayer.
“We’ve got to get back to prayer as well,” Philips said. “That’s what’s going to help us.”
Philips said his group and others did, in fact, make a difference in reducing violence, but word of 100 shooting victims and more than a dozen murders is unacceptable.READ MORE: Chicago Seniors Give 'A Spoonful Of Hope' To Those In The Community Who Need Meals
“We have to look at the individuals who survived the weekend. What do we want to do differently than we did last weekend?” he said.
“After weekends like we just had, it’s really hard to be optimistic,” said Kimberly Smith with the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab.
She worked on developing the online Violence Reduction Dashboard. Introduced in May, it provides vital public data on hotspots. Groups like Target are using it now.
“It’s not just a group of guys walking down the street aimlessly,” Philips said. “We use it to help determine where to put our resources.”
“We think this tool has a lot of promise. It is a bit to early to say whether it is working. We want this to be a public accountability tool, but it’s only a part of the equation. Data is useful, but you need effective strategies,” Smith said.MORE NEWS: Some Chicago Bars And Restaurants Are Beginning To Require Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination This Week
Strategies beyond policing with boots on the ground work that many putting hours behind every day and weekend.