Rahm, McCarthy Say Foot Patrols Are Working

Officials say "Operation Impact" responsible for reducing crime in city's problem areas

Chicago's mayor and top cop are giving credit to new strategy for helping to reduce crime in the areas of the city that need it most.

The Chicago Police Department employed "Operation Impact" at the beginning of the year, using overtime to saturate 20 high-crime zones with at the beginning of the year.

Superintendent Garry McCarthy says foot patrol officers were phased in who received straight time pay, allowing the department to reduce overtime costs.

A significant number of the officers on foot patrol are new police academy graduates.

"These officers are making a real difference, they're working to stop crimes from happening, they're making arrests when necessary and connecting with the community all at the same time," McCarthy said.

The city says crime in the 20 targeted districts has reduced shootings by 48 percent, murders by 45 percent and overall crime by 29 percent, which is double than the city-wide averages.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel renewed calls for state lawmakers to strengthen gun laws and to impose a three-year minimum sentence for crimes committed with a gun.

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