‘A data-driven approach’: Chicago police lay out Fourth of July safety plan as City Council pushes back

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — CPD Supt. David Brown spoke Friday in front of the City Council after he was called to appear in the special meeting earlier in the week due to gun violence.

Brown laid out the department’s Fourth of July weekend safety plan, but also said his appearance came at “a cost of critical scheduled time.”

The Fourth of July weekend is predictably our most challenging weekend of the year,” said Brown. “I can assure you the Chicago Police Department is doing its part in an historically unprecedented wave.”

CPD commanders at the meeting said there will be enhanced police coverage in all 22 districts — with a combination of patrols, crisis intervention specialists and city outreach workers focusing on high-crime areas.

“It’s really a data-driven approach that consists of precision deployments,” Chief of Patrols Brian McDermott said. “This analysis focused on the 15 most violent beats, most violent neighborhoods in the city.”

The meeting followed a violent Thursday where a 9-year-old and an infant were both shot in the head in separate incidents.

A 22-year-old University of Chicago student was also critically injured after a bullet sprayed through a Green Line window and struck him in the back of the neck while he was sitting on the train.

Ald. Ray Lopez (15th Ward), who was among the group of aldermen who forced the CPD appearance, pushed back on Brown and company.

“A lot of what you said, I disagree with, to be quite honest,” Lopez said.

On Thursday, fewer killings were reported over the first six months of 2021 in Chicago compared with the same period last year even as the number of shootings and people shot increased, according to statistics released by police.

Between Jan. 1 and Wednesday, there were 332 killings in the city — six fewer than in the first six months of 2020. Both numbers are much higher than the 246 recorded over the first half of 2019.

In preparation for the rest of the weekend, officers are switching to 12 hour shifts with no days off. CPD will deploy police officers to the lakefront and entertainment venues, but did not give specific numbers on how many.

The Fourth of July weekend is expected to be much like it was in 2019 — with lots of tourists and residents out and about.

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