Willie Wilson Unveils Plan to Combat CTA Crime as Lightfoot Addresses Weekend Violence

If elected, Wilson has promised to bring back CTA conductors, resurrect the CTA’s own police unit

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After a series of shooting downtown Chicago in the past few days and multiple attacks on CTA trains or platforms, Mayor Lori Lightfoot fielded questions on violence Monday as one of her opponents proposed ideas of his own.

"We're working our tails off every single day... obviously not happy about this weekend," she said, following the weekend in which a total of 35 people were shot across the city, including nine who were killed. Of the victims, two people were killed and four others were wounded in the downtown area.

Businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson specifically addressed violence on CTA trains and platforms Monday as rode a CTA Red Line train from 95th Street to downtown.

"Too many citizens have been robbed, too many people that are homeless on the train, which need a place to live outside being on the train," he said.

The millionaire businessman embraced the security plan championed by Eric Dixon, president of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 308. If elected, Wilson has promised to bring back CTA conductors, resurrect the CTA’s own police unit and supplement both efforts by hiring back retired Chicago police officers.

In March, the city of Chicago and CTA announced the addition of more security guards and police officers to bus and train lines following an increase in violence.

Lightfoot said she too rides the CTA and understand the concerns.

"I do ride the CTA, in fact I rode it last night," she stated. "But I also recognize we got to step up and do more because people don't safe, and we the collectively have to do a better job."

At an event where the city awarded federal COVID relief money to those who applied for grants Monday, the mayor addressed violence, but also discussed election plans.

"I will be making an announcement, it will not be a surprise to anyone what that announcement is made," she said.

NBC Chicago/Chicago Sun-Times
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