Lightfoot doubles down on public safety strategy as gun violence soars in 2021

Chicago Crime

CHICAGO — With Chicago crime threatening her political future, Mayor Lightfoot doubled down on her public safety strategy in a long address on the West Side Monday.

“Keeping you safe is my priority,” Lightfoot said. “Not one of, but the first and primary priority.”

With 11 days left in 2021, Chicago has already had 783 murders — which surpasses last year’s overall total of 772 murders. Shooting incidents are up as well.

“This is not an academic exercise for me,” Lightfoot said. “I feel the urgency every day. It is heart wrenching to hear the cries of the survivors who have had a loved one felled by gun violence.”

To stem the flow of illegal guns, Lightfoot is asking the U.S. Attorney General to send more ATF agents to Chicago. She also wants a including a moratorium on electronic monitoring for people accused of certain violent crimes.

“The Cook County electronic monitoring system is fundamentally broken in a way that is making our city unsafe,” Lightfoot said.

As the city works with its federal partners, Mayor Lightfoot set a new goal for the police department by wanting more murders solved. CPD’s homicide clearance rate is 48 percent.

“We need to hit 60 percent or higher in 2022,” Lightfoot said. “The CPD must hold itself accountable for consistent improvement.”

The mayor touched on investments to combat poverty and crime, including the $1.2 billion City Council signed off on this fall.

Lightfoot is also still pushing her controversial ordinance that seeks to seize assets from Chicago gangs. She will try again to get that measure moving next year.

Mayor Lightfoot’s prepared remarks are below.

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