Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

McCarthy Downplays Weather's Effect on Crime

Police superintendent says stronger methods needed to decrease flow of illegal guns

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Police superintendent says weather is an influence of crime, but doesn't cause or prevent it.

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Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy refuted suggestions Monday that a decrease in violent crime is a result of cooler weather this year.

"Weather is an influencer on crime. It's not a cause, nor does it prevent crime," McCarthy said at a 9th District news conference held to showcase the latest stash of illegal guns confiscated by police officers.

McCarthy pointed to six shootings in one day during the floods a few weeks ago as proof that bad weather doesn't deter violence. He says violent crime is more seasonal, as opposed to weather-related.

"Obviously there's more crime in the summertime, and that's because of a number of things. Kids aren't in school, there's more people in the street, and sometimes we have to realize that that's not weather -- that's seasonal," McCarthy said.

McCarthy said figures show that murders are down 45 percent and shooting decreased 25 percent year-to-year in the 9th District, and that other neighborhoods are showing similar improvements. And he again used the opportunity to call for stronger gun laws.

"Even with all this progress, we all know that illegal guns still confront our officers and our community far too often," McCarthy said. "We need stronger gun laws to keep illegal guns and criminals off of our streets in order to truly address and make some progress in regards to violence."

McCarthy credits strategic policing, strong partnerships with community leaders, aldermen, clergy and residents for the decrease in violent crime.

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