CPD adds nearly 100 officers to take on ‘public health crisis’ of gun violence

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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Police Department will add nearly 100 new officers to the force Tuesday, and Chicago needs the help. The murder rates surpassed 300 over the weekend -- only halfway through the year -- compared to 480 homicides in all of 2015.

The new officers will hit the streets following yet another very deadly weekend with a tally of 13 murders and 46 people wounded between Friday evening and Monday morning.

The latest police graduation will add 97 new officers and 88 new sergeants to a force struggling to fight deadly violence.

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the department is focused on getting illegal guns off the streets. This weekend alone the department seized nearly 100 guns including a number of semiautomatic weapons, he said, and the department has taken over 4200 illegal guns so far this year.

Johnson said the department is also focused on strengthening community relations, working with young people in neighborhoods with rampant issues with violence, and recruiting more minority officers.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel seconded that notion.

"You're there to reduce crime and cut down on gun violence.  But your job today requires you to build friendships, to build relationships.  You have to do both because trust is so important," Emanuel said.

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