Part of solution to crime must be to strengthen penalties for repeat violent offenders carrying those guns.
Like too many cities across the country, the violence some communities in Chicago are contending with is unacceptable. Just two years ago, crime in Chicago had been reduced to the lowest levels in decades. Today, that trend has been reversed. To meet this rising tide of violence, the Chicago Police Department is joining forces with partners across the city in a coordinated, concerted effort to stop the violence. But we can’t do it alone. No one can.
Police officers are the backbone of any public safety strategy, but we all have a role to play, and that’s why Mayor Rahm Emanuel outlined a comprehensive strategy to improve the safety of our city. Under that plan, we will grow the police department by nearly 1,000 new officers, all of whom will partner with residents. Community policing must be the cornerstone of our strategy to reduce crime, and so we are also implementing needed reforms to rebuild the bonds of trust with the residents of Chicago, especially in communities of color.
The mayor is driving economic opportunities in our most struggling neighborhoods. He is also investing $36 million over the next three years to make mentoring universal for young men in our 20 most violent neighborhoods because too many young men suffer from a lack of positive role models in their lives.
But at the end of the day, our violence problem is an illegal gun problem. The biggest difference between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are the gun laws of our states and the areas immediately surrounding our cities.
There are too many illegal guns on the south and west sides, and part of any solution to Chicago’s crime problem must be to strengthen penalties for the repeat violent offenders carrying those guns. We are working with our allies in the state legislature to accomplish that.
Gun violence is an issue President Obama has elevated on the national stage, and it is something we are confronting head-on here in Chicago. There is no single solution to the complex challenge of gun violence. Chicago’s strategy is holistic, comprehensive and collaborative.
Source: USA Today