After a particularly bloody weekend in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy are updating their gang violence reduction plan with a new computer program that puts intelligence on the more than 600 factions of the city’s 59 street gangs in the hands of the beat officer. The announcement comes in the wake of an uptick in gun violence over the four-day holiday weekend that left at least 10 dead and more than 40 injured.
According to McCarthy, the program, “CLEARMAP Caboodle,” will consolidate gathered intelligence on the city’s gangs and their members into a system that’s accessible to beat officers via squad car laptops – a level of access not previously held by beat officers. Police can then filter the information by threat level, gang name and geographic area, among other parameters.
“It’s … going to [put] real-time intelligence into the hands of the beat officers, which will delineate all the gangs in the district, all the territories they call their own and who those gangs are in conflict with. The second something happens — whether it’s a fight in a school or a shooting on the street or somebody perhaps getting into a fight on the street because they happen to be in the wrong turf — we have an ability to actually predict where the retaliation will take place,” said Supt. McCarthy at Tuesday’s press conference, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Through Sunday, there’ve been at least 200 homicides in the city this year, compared to 134 during the same time frame in 2011 – nearly a 50 percent increase according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune also says shootings are up almost 14 percent over the same time period compared to last year: 851 compared to 747 in 2011.
CLEARMAP Caboodle is part of what McCarthy and Emanuel say is an evolving effort on the part of the city to curb gang-related violence. On Tuesday, Emanuel reiterated efforts to improve inter-bureau communication and intelligence sharing among the Chicago Police Department through “gang audits.”
In recent months, the city has also cracked down on liquor and convenience stores that aid gang activity, shuttering four liquor stores and flagging 30 other businesses, according to a press release from the Mayor’s office.
“Businesses serve as anchors in their communities, but some serve as conduits for criminal activity, and those are the businesses that we are targeting,” said Mayor Emanuel in the release. “Whether you are a problem business, a violent street corner, or a known drug market, we will go after you.”
Eddie Arruza has more on Emanuel and McCarthy's reaction to the weekend violence and their new high-tech, anti-gang strategy on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm.
Read the press release from the Mayor Emanuel’s office in the PDF below.