Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is asking communities to take an “all hands on deck” approach to help police curb gun violence in the city ahead of the Forth of July weekend.
During a press conference on Thursday, Lightfoot announced the city will provide an additional 1,200 police officers each day through the weekend, but acknowledged the effort wasn’t enough and asked residents for help.
“This has to be an all hands on deck approach,” Lightfoot said. “Obviously, the police department and our other law enforcement partners have a key role to play. But so do each of us.”
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown also weighed-in. “We need everyone's help to make our strategy work. We can't do it alone. No one knows their blocks better than folks that live here.”
“I pray that you will find your humanity that you will think about the sanctity of life before you pick up a firearm and pull the trigger aiming for somebody else,” Lightfoot pleaded. “Think about the number of children that have been killed just in the last two weeks.”
Gun violence over the most recent weekend left 16 people dead, including two young children, and 50 others wounded, according to police. Father's Day Weekend saw at least 104 people shot, 14 fatally, over the course of the most violent weekend in Chicago in years.
Over the holiday weekend, Chicago will also see “strategic police missions” to seize illegal guns in an effort to prevent shootings along with the additional officers, according to Brown.
Lightfoot also announced the city is working with the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago that will help areas in the city where violence is more common by mobilizing case workers and victim advocates beginning over the Forth of July weekend.
“That is a noble cause. That's what gives me hope,” Lightfoot said of the planned community outreach. “That's what gives me energy and a sense of urgency and a commitment as your mayor to do everything in my power to bring hope and prosperity and vibrancy and safety to every neighborhood.”