Chicago’s top cop says department making significant progress but ‘It’s not success’

Chicago will finish 2017 with improved crime numbers.  Both shootings and murders are down significantly from one year ago.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the police department has made significant progress.

Chicago has seen a 15 percent reduction in murders and a 21 percent reduction in shootings from last year.

The progress is being driven by steep declines in two of the city's most violent police districts, Harrison and Englewood.

“I’ve been a cop 29 years and always worked in the more challenging areas of the city,” Johnson says. “And I never thought I’d see the point where Englewood would be driving the reduction in citywide violence.”

Part of the reason? Johnson has overseen the implementation of “cutting edge” technology and "strategic decision support centers," in which officers monitor shot spotter, interactive maps and live cameras, then, analyze data knowing,  when and where to deploy resources, and giving real-time information to responding officers.

Still, the city is will top 600 murders for the year more than twice the amount of New York City.

Johnson says, “We came off of a horrible 2016 - and everybody knows that.  … It’s progress.  It’s not success.  It shows the needle is pointing in the right direction.”

He's also focused on the budget after a blistering report from the inspector general said the CPD’s overtime system was ripe for abuse, failing to closely keep track of 575 million dollars worth of overtime spending over the last six years.

Jhnson says he's taking measures to prevent problems.

“We have now started an electronic swiping system, because CPD for a long tome used antiquated systems to track overtime, we used paper, and that`s simply not acceptable.   So now, we started the electronic swiping system, we are holding supervisors accountable for overtime in their particular units.”

Johnson says overtime will be less of an issue after this year.

The department is in the process of hiring an additional one-thousand officers.

As far as Johnson’s health he has a treadmill in his office.

“Now it’s become just a part of my day, to get that workout on, and I will tell you if I don’t do something on the treadmill every day, I feel like i’ve kind of wasted a day. So I do some cardio every day.”

The top cop has lost 50 pounds since a kidney transplant in August.

He now has a strict diet of four small meals a day, and the cardio exercise.