FULLER PARK — Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the department will continue to work with the anti-violence group CeaseFire despite domestic battery allegations against its director.
“The program is going to be evaluated on its success or failure and how effective it is — not this issue with Tio Hardiman, as far as I’m concerned,” McCarthy said at an unrelated news conference Monday.
Hardiman, who directs CeaseFire Illinois, was arrested Friday in west suburban Hillside after Alison Hardiman, his wife of 13 years, accused him of punching and kicking her.
“My heart goes out to Mr. Hardiman and his wife and his family as they go through this troubling time,” McCarthy said. “Anybody involved in some sort of crisis like that — they’re all victims.”
McCarthy said he’s been in contact with the city's Department of Public Health, which administers CeaseFire in the city.
“We’re trying to make it work the best we can,” McCarthy said. “We will try absolutely anything to reduce crime in the city.”
Speaking from the Wentworth District police station, 5101 S. Wentworth Ave., McCarthy said crime is down in 2013.
“Through the end of May, there were 71 fewer murder victims in Chicago” than there were in the same time frame in 2012, McCarthy said. The city also tallied 250 fewer shooting victims.
“This is undeniable progress, but obviously, we’re not going to declare victory for a very long time,” he said. “Victory means no shootings, no murders.”
McCarthy credited community policing strategies, such as saturating crime “hot spots” with overtime officers, for for the crime drop.
And he called for increased gun control and truth-in-sentencing laws.
“We need the criminal justice system — the laws of the State of Illinois — to support those policing efforts that we’re making that are going to result in less shootings and less murders."