BACK OF THE YARDS — With 100 people shot — including 15 people killed — over the extended 4th of July holiday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that no one program is the answer to stopping violence in Chicago.
Emanuel spoke Thursday about the rampant violence that swept the South and West sides of Chicago from 5 p.m. Friday to Wednesday morning. He was asked by DNAinfo whether the surge exposed a weakness in the city's increasing reliance on high-tech crime fighting tools, like the Shotspotter program that uses high-powered microphones to detect gunshots.
Emanuel didn't directly address the question, but said he rejected suggestions "that one thing" is the answer to stopping violence in Chicago. Instead, there has to be a holistic solution of good schools, thriving businesses and good jobs to get "kids gangs and guns off the street," he said.
"It takes a web of investments and strategies [including] putting more police on the streets," Emanuel said, adding that summer jobs are also an important part of his violence prevention strategy.
Emanuel's remarks came after he celebrated the announcement that 51 businesses will get grants of up to $250,000 as part of an effort dubbed the Retail Thrive Zone program by his office and designed to breathe new life into shopping areas on the South, Southwest and West sides
"This program is part of public safety, too," Emanuel said.
This past weekend was "frustrating," Supt. Eddie Johnson said during a news conference at Police Headquarters Thursday morning. The department's top brass will review "everything" they did over the weekend, including whether Shotspotter was useless because of the widespread illegal fireworks shows.
Nearly half of the victims were shot between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning, according to data complied by DNAinfo.
The tactics used by the Police Department — including adding more than 1,300 more officers to the streets — were similar to those put in place during the Memorial Day weekend, when six people were killed and 47 wounded.
The holiday weekend is often one of the most — if not the most — violent weekends in Chicago. In 2016, four people were killed and 62 wounded in shootings during the three-day Fourth of July weekend.