Mayor Offers Money, Police in Anti-Violence Plan

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    A day after a visit and discussion with Obama administration officials, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley on Thursday announced several initiatives he hopes will curb youth violence.

    Daley's plans, which he admitted were only "short-term" solutions, include increasing the presence of police officers at schools during dismissal times, increasing funding for after-school programs, and providing extra attention to the most at-risk students.

    He made the announcement during a tour of the Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center on the city's South Side.

    Included in the plans:

    • Nearly 150 police officers will cover mass transit and CTA routes before and after schools, particularly near 95th & Dan Ryan, where students from multiple schools converge...
    • Over 40 officers will be allowed three hours of daily overtime to cover the hours coinciding with dismissal time at 45 schools identified as high priority...
    • Creating a new partnership with the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago to put 100 students in short-term jobs...
    • Using $1 million from the parking meter lease profits to fund 500 jobs and after-school programs for young people...
    • Expanding a community intervention program which helped reduce crime in Englewood this summer into three more neighborhoods...


    Police Supt. Jody Weis dismissed those who wonder if outside help is needed -- perhaps from the National Guard -- to patrol Chicago's streets.

    "The military does not write search warrants, you know, they also will continue asking you questions.  And if you want to plead the Fifth (Amendment), or if you want to speak to an attorney, they're not going to listen to you on that.  So, it's easy to say the National Guard, but that's not really the solution," Weis said.

    At a separate event, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said he supports those from Altgeld Gardens who want to stay at Carver rather than be bused to Christian Fenger Academy High School.

    The violence that led to 16-year-old honor student Derrion Albert's beating death has been blamed on conflicts between students from different neighborhoods who've been forced to attend the same school.

    Daley isn't buying that argument and said he would never change school boundaries based on gang territories.

    "The day that the city of Chicago decides to divide schools by gang territory, that's the day we have given up the city."

    Jackson also criticized the mayor's plan to add more police officers, saying people in the community don't always perceive increased police presence as increased safety.

    The activists also suggest the city train and hire parents as community patrols to keep an eye on the students and to make sure they get to and from school safely.  

    Guardian involvement, Daley said, is key to quelling the violence.

    "I can put all the police you want in every school, that's not going to solve the issue," he said.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited Chicago on Wednesday to talk about youth violence Albert's death.