Chicago Street Violence Highest in Years

By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) A bloody year in Chicago left officials searching for a number of solutions including an increase in patrols, county-wide combined initiatives and even a state-level discussion of the use of the National Guard.

Criminals have taken disputes to the streets, literally, with targeting members of other gangs on area expressways. The interstates proved to be an efficient method of criminals for targeting rivals since it provides a quick getaway from authorities and the scene of the crime.

By May, Chicago violence was up 50 percent over 2015.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said over Memorial Day weekend that “after 20 shootings on area expressways so far this year compared to 12 during the same period last year he is dispatching more troopers to the roadways — some in unmarked vehicles.”

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the number of murders in August was the most in a single month during an already bloody year, and the most in a one-month span in 20 years.

By September 1, 2016 the city had passed the number of total gun-related homicides in 2015.

“Some people have said ‘Bring in the National Guard.’ We’ve discussed that,” Governor Bruce Rauner said in September. “We’ve analyzed it we’ve discussed it with National Guard we’ve talked about it with national leaders, we’ve talked about it with community leaders, we’ve talked with police officers about it. No thoughtful leader thinks that’s a good idea or would really provide a solution, in fact, it may exacerbate other problems, so nobody thinks that’s a good idea.”

In early December, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson joined the John and Ray morning show to talk about his efforts to find a way to decrease the amount of gun offenders on the street in the city.

Later in December, Chicago went four days without a fatal shooting, which was a record streak for 2016.