Chicago Sees Year-Over-Year Increase in Homicides

UPDATE: After the above video aired, CPD responded to NBC Chicago's request for comment, and clarified that January 2011 saw 26 homicides, not 24.

January 2012 brings with it cause for concern in Chicago when it comes to crime trends.  

The city has seen a more than 50 percent increase in the homicide rate in Chicago if you compare this January with 2011.

Chicago has registered 40 homicides in 2012 compared with 26 in January 2011.

Despite those numbers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not second-guess his top-cop.

Emanuel defended Garry McCarthy's tactics and strategies during a morning press conference. 

“Do I think we have the right strategy, yes," Emanuel said.  "And the right leadership, and  the right amount of members, yes.”

He’s moving more police officers to the streets and less to specialized units, Emanuel said.

Former top cop, Jody Weis, however, is second guessing.  Weis, who currently heads the Chicago Crime Commission, has looked at the trends and says the current spike is alarming.   

“If the average (January murder total) for the past six years is 27, you should be looking at why,” Weis said.    

Fraternal Order of Police President Mike Shields weighs in as well, both he and Weis agree the  milder weather may have played a role in the spike. 

“A lot has to do with the weather,” Shields said. 

Weis adds the dismantling of public housing in Chicago has led to gang infighting because members have been displaced. 

“Now you have small gangs who are  perhaps more loyal to their street corner than to the  gang itself,” he said.
Emanuel conceded, however, that:  “he’s not happy with any of it.”   He emphasizes “these gang bangers have to know these are not their streets.”  

Emanuel also adds  there has not been a murder in the last five days.

Earlier this month, the city crowed about a 24 hour period with no shootings in Chicago. The police union president  pointed out that when it comes to the homicide rate: “if you are going to take credit for the good, you got to  take the blame for the bad.” 

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