Today Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced another anti-crime initiative and will increase the number of foot patrols in the city.
More than a dozen uniformed officers, fresh out of the academy and fresh from training will hit the streets to fight crime the old fashioned way: on foot.
The initiative got underway tonight at 79th and Cottage Grove. Officers drove into the “hot zones” of one of the most talked about cities in the country. Chicago is trying to make gains when it comes to taking down gangs. Police superintendent Gary McCarthy thinks physically getting out of the squad cars and into the streets will make the difference.
For about a week now, young officers have traded in their patrol cars for their walking shoes. From 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. they will walk, interact and observe. Those are the hours when most gang violence erupts.
McCarthy is targeting 20 hot zones around the city. They make up only 3% of the city geographically but represent 20% of the crime in Chicago over the past 3 years, he says.
All officers just completed a 12 week field training. More will be added with time as the next class of officers graduates.
The program is voluntary.