Violent crime in Chicago Loop up 97%, but Mayor Rahm cuts the number of cops there
Chicago is the canary in the coal mine for America's big cities as civil order slips away. The presumption that life can be lived without constant fear of violent predators is already gone in gang stronghold neighborhoods, where murder rates shock the nation and the world.
The combined force of the police and judiciary, hobbled by federal scrutiny of police tactics and a bail system so weak that it is informally known as "catch and release," is simply laughed at. Cook County jail is "out of control," and a gang leader enforced a reign of terror there. Only last week, Chicago's top cop admitted that criminals think the police and judiciary are "a joke."
Police powerlessness was convincingly demonstrated when police were unable to stop a thousand-strong gang party that disrupted a neighborhood for hours last summer. The angry and violent men enjoying success on their home turf are not content to leave alone the rest of the city, with richer pickings. The emboldened criminal class got the message: car-jackings are spreading into affluent neighborhoods.
And now, via CWB Chicago, the locally focused website that chronicles Chicago's worsening crime, comes the news that violent crime in Chicago's Loop has skyrocketed 97% over the past five years, while Mayor Rahm Emanuel has cut the number of cops patrolling it by almost 8%. Alderman Brian Hopkins told the Chicago Tribune about the results:
It involves things that have been happening in the Loop that were unthinkable not that long ago – open-air drug markets, armed violence, an offender wearing body armor and carrying a gun through the Loop to engage in drug sales. This is a real problem that's happening around us right now.
Despite the open-air drug markets, CWB Chicago reports:
...narcotics arrests in 2017 declined for the fifth consecutive year in the Loop. There were just 74 arrests for drugs compared to 214 five years before. But the Loop is not alone. Nearly every neighborhood we studied has seen sharp declines in drug-related arrests in recent years as society's attitudes toward cannabis evolve and cops pull back on conducting street stops.
Lawlessness unchallenged spreads:
So far, the development boom in Chicago's Loop and adjacent areas continues, drawing more residents and visitors to the area, where they are targets for criminals. CWB summarizes:
Despite all of the press releases and photo ops about new cops going to the streets. Despite Emanuel's repeated pledges to "put more cops on the beat." Despite the 97% increase in robberies and violent crime overall, the Loop has lost 26 officers on Emanuel's watch.
While the cop count is declining in the Loop, the number of 911 calls for police service is skyrocketing. In December alone, the 1st District received nearly 3,500 more calls for police service than in December 2014 – a 21% increase according to Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.
It seems that [the] mayor's equation for success in the Loop is to add tourists, add residents, add 911 calls, and subtract cops. That's not working.
Sooner or later, if this continues, people will flee. So far, all the shiny buildings and upscale eateries, bars, and recreation opportunities continue to draw prey. But when the tide turns, it could be brutal. In Detroit, weeds and trees grow in abandoned skyscrapers.