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CHICAGO — Chicago police are working to make sure the Labor Day weekend is a safe one. They also shared encouraging news about the city’s violent crime rate.

The police department is extending shifts and canceling off days to put 8,000 extra officers on the street. They will work 12 hour shifts.

The cleanup effort Friday in Roseland was part of Chicago Police Supt. David Brown’s strategy for community policing, designed to overcome distrust between police and the community. But there was news Friday, for the first time in what’s been a difficult and violent summer, top police commanders seeing perhaps the first tenuous signs of progress.

The superintendent is cautiously optimistic that things are slowly improving in terms of the volume of shootings. The crime numbers improving somewhat the month of August. Police unveiled new strategies to deal with sometimes destructive demonstrations in the central business district. But Chicago’s neighborhoods also getting police resources to help tamp down crime.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward) is working hard with police to prevent the kind of looting we saw in other parts of the city this summer.

“If we had had the same aggressive attention that they put downtown and listened to some of the alderman about what’s important to them and their wards,” said Beale. “We could have saved half this city.”

The alderman was critical of police last month with resources focused on stopping the looting in the central business district. Beale and other aldermen complained that not enough police man power was focused on the city’s Black and brown neighborhoods.

However, Beale said he’s seeing dramatic improvement with a considerable help of 5th District Cmdr. Glenn White.

Brown said a record 58 officers have been shot at this year — 10 of those shots actually striking and wounding officers.