With stories of shootings splashed across metro newspapers daily, Chicago's Police Superintendent Jody Weis used a news briefing yesterday to push back against the impression that Chicago's streets are growing increasingly violent. Using graphs and stats, Chicago's top cop argued that overall crime is down and that the homicide rate is holding steady this year after having dipped considerably over the last 20 years.
But late last month, the Chicago Police Department released crime data for June showing that there was an increase in homicides during the first six months of 2010 as compared to the same period last year. In a related press release, Weis himself said homicides were up by more than 5 percent between the two years. Popular police blogger Second City Cop, for one, is leery of Weis' attempt to quell fears of escalating violence.
Earlier today, Weis joined Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Mayor Richard Daley as they announced plans to deploy more officers to high-crime areas. Hopefully, the new initiative will be effective in reducing Chicago's violent crime rate, which is still three times that of New York City.