Chicago's mayoral candidates had far different reactions to crime statistics released early Wednesday that show homicides and shootings were up in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who ordered the Chicago Police Department to re-evaluate policing and spent millions of dollars in overtime for officers, said more help is needed from state lawmakers.
"The number one problem is shootings and homicides, and that's why I've been clear from get-go, this is not -- yes, we want more police. We've got to have them in the right place," he said. "But we have to get the laws changed in Springfield."
The mayor has previously called on state legislators to pass laws to ban assault-type weapons, limit the size of bullet clips allowed for sale, and mandate comprehensive background checks at every point-of-sale.
Compared to the first quarter of 2014, when the city set a record low for homicides, Chicago recorded 18 more homicides, 107 more shootings and 101 more shooting victims, the department said.
Emanuel's opponent in the April 7 runoff, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, has used the city's violence as a rallying cry for his campaign.
"Ten thousand five hundred shootings and climbing -- almost 2,000 homicides -- should give no one a sense that Chicago is a safer city," he said.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said the stats show why reforms are needed to limit straw purchases -- where someone buys guns and sells them to others not authorized to buy weapons.
"The worst part of those 500 guns arrests: there's two individuals who we arrested twice in a 90 period for illegal possession of a firearm. Caught. Released. Caught. Released again," he said.