CHICAGO — After a violent month of January in Chicago, Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is calling for a culture of accountability among gun offenders — a culture he knows will take time to create. But he is hoping that two new tech assets will help speed that culture along.
“I’ve talked to my colleagues across the country,” Johnson told reporters this morning. “They’re seeing the same things that we’re seeing, too many guns on the street.”
Johnson addressed January violence numbers from Englewood District 7, one of the three police districts responsible for about half of the month’s murders.
In January there were 51 murders in the city, one more than in the same time last year. There were 234 shooting incidents and 299 shooting victims, 8 more than in January 2016.
59 of the city’s 77 neighborhoods are flat or have experienced a crime reduction.
“This is all supported by the relentless work of the Chicago police officers who’ve doubled overall gun arrests and seized over 60 percent more guns than we did last year at the same time,” Johnson said.
In recent weeks the Chicago Police Department has been expanding its use of what Johnson calls game-changing technology, “ShotSpotter”. The city is leasing it for about $1 million a year to track gunshots in a 13-and-a-half-mile area.
Police brass are already pointing to the software’s success.
The department also launched two strategic decision support centers. These intelligence hubs can transmit information officers need to mobile phones provided by the Chicago Police Foundation.
The community policing advisory panel has also drawn experts from across the nation. But Johnson says the department needs help from local lawmakers.
“The way we get the numbers down is to hold repeat gun offenders for the crimes that they commit,” Johnson asserted.
Johnson repeated his request to President Trump: If the President wants to help, he can send federal money for jobs programs, for mental health, and also send more federal agents.