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Officer Down

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicago police expanding foot patrols into more 'impact zones'

--Pipe dreams and smoke screens by the politicians and the department brass--

Story at Chicago Tribune

By Jeremy Gorner
Tribune reporter
11:55 AM CDT, September 10, 2013

The Chicago Police Department is expanding foot patrols to 20 of the city's most dangerous areas, officials announced this morning.

The department began deploying rookie officers last March into one of the so-called "impact ones" where the city says 20 percent of all violent crime has occurred over the past three years.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy has said the strategy is partly responsible for a drop in homicides and shootings by about 25 percent from last year, when Chicago recorded more than 500 slayings for the first time in four years and drew unflattering media coverage across the country.

"Just like the decline in violence and crime citywide, the progress being made is only a start. One victim is too many and there's much, much, much more work to be done," McCarthy told reporters as he appeared with Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a South Side police station.

The new patrols began Sunday.

Officials had planned for months to gradually expand patrols into all 20 impact zones on the South and West sides. In March, rookie officers on foot patrol began to supplement more than 400 veteran officers who were allowed to work overtime in squad cars each day in some of the zones.

The Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents rank-and-file police officers, raised concerns earlier in the year about the rookie officers' safety. FOP President Michael Shields suggested it'd be safer if they patrolled in squad cars.

As he did last March, McCarthy this morning downplayed those concerns. "There's no evidence that that's factual," he said.

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