Aldermen Grill Top Cop About Chicago Violence

Supt. Garry McCarthy insists his tactics are slowing city violence

By Michelle Relerford
|  Thursday, Oct 25, 2012  |  Updated 6:53 AM CDT
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Gun Violence Runs Rampant In Chicago

Another deadly weekend in Chicago as 9 people were killed and 37 wounded by gunfire.
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As aldermen increase pressure on Chicago Police to reduce violence, the city's top cop is responding with a high-tech tool to help get guns off the streets.

City officials put Supt. Garry McCarthy in the hot seat during Wednesday's budget meeting about the number of murders in Chicago and demanded a clear plan. McCarthy insisted his tactics are working and plans to introduce gunshot detection technology Thursday meant to more quickly inform officers about shootings and get them to crime scenes faster.

Still the number of homicides continues to climb. A 28-year-old man was shot and killed Wednesday night in the city's Gresham neighborhood on 80th and Halsted streets. The man was found dead around 9:30 p.m. inside a pickup truck, police said, and suspects are in custody for the crime.

McCarthy said his officers have slowed a dramatic spike in murders and points to a lack of tough gun laws as a cause for the violence.

"You can walk into any gun shop with your FOID card, buy as many guns as you can, walk out the door and give them to whoever you want, and there's no accountability for where those firearms are," he recently told NBC Chicago.

McCarthy said Chicago officers are doing better than larger departments with more ground to cover.

"In the first six months of this year, we've recovered three times the amount of guns as the LAPD and nine times the number of firearms of the NYPD per capita," he said.

But aldermen in high crime districts want more and are calling for more officers beyond the 500 Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to add in 2013. At a budget hearing Wednesday McCarthy said more cops don't necessarily mean fewer murders and told aldermen that in 2008, when there were more than 500 murders in the city, the department employed about 1,000 more officers than today.

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