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Chicago police use new techniques against violence

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chicago's police superintendent wants to use a new technique to identify potential killers before they kill.

Supt. Garry McCarthy talked to ABC7 on a day when there were several stop the violence events in the city.

"They took my only son," said Elizabeth Ramirez, whose son was killed. "His case is not solved yet and the only thing I want is justice for my son."

Ramirez spoke at a memorial service for people who've lost a loved one to gun violence.

"I don't care how many police we have on the street," said the Rev. Michael Phleger. "Until we get out of our houses and stop being absentee landlords on these blocks and in these neighborhoods, the violence is going to continue."

On WVON's Parent Revolution show Saturday night, host Phillip Jackson invited several young men to speak up who, at one point, have been in trouble themselves.

"Once you're around this for so many years you see those things, you grow up thinking that's what you have to do," Jeremy Hoskins said.

"If we occupy the time of a lot of the teenagers that are out on these streets and we give them something to look forward to, I believe there will be a decrease in violence that's going on in Chicago," said Shannon Smith.

Summer is always an especially violent time for Chicago. And though overall crime is down, murders are up, compared to the same period last year.

McCarthy said while the level of gun violence is still unacceptable, police are making progress.

"By the end of March, we had a 40 percent increase in the shooting rate and by implementing these strategies we got it down to 8 percent at the halfway point for the year," McCarthy said.

McCarthy revealed a new tactic Chicago police will soon begin to use in their fight against violent crime. It involves taking victims of murder, identifying who their associates were and taking those who already are involved in illegal activity off the streets before they escalate.

"We don't want to criminalize a neighborhood by doing hot spot policing and merely sending resources there and stopping everybody who moves," McCarthy said. "That is how we offend a community. This is going to foster better community relations by being more precise with who we're going to work on as far as targeting for criminal activity."

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