In our last blog post we discussed how Chicago has statistically seen a decrease in violent crimes and homicides. But these statistics have left many wondering how accurate the numbers are. Weeks after multiple requests, Chicago Officials have agreed to hold a Public Hearing this morning (August 8th, 2014) to help clear up some of the communities concerns.

Chicago Progressive Caucus Makes Second Request for Public Hearing — Finally Heard

One of the requests was from the Chicago Progressive Caucus, who made a call for a public hearing back in early June. Seven members, including Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), asked the Public Safety Committee chair, James Balcer (21st), to hold the meeting to address issues they suspect with the statistics. Specifically, the Chicago Progressive Caucus suspects that the Chicago Police Department is actually miscategorizing crimes in an attempt to diminish crime rates.

Decrease in Statistics are Exaggerated

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy states that overall homicide ratings have dropped (the lowest it’s been in decades), despite constant reports about shootings in the city. Fioretti feels like this statement and the decrease in statistics are overwhelming exaggerated. According to a Chicago Tribune Article, the Inspector General found that Chicago police did not report nearly a quarter of the aggravated assault and aggravated battery victims in an audit about crime statistics in 2012. Counting incidents instead of the victims involved (as is procedure) lead to a great deal of underreporting. This same process has been used by the department in city shootings — incident rather than victims.

“Safety is the No. 1 concern”

“We want to find what the public view is of crime classification, and reporting practices of the Chicago Police Department, because there’s a lot of issues dealing with the integrity of what the public is being told,” Fioretti sent at his first request. After that he has sent a second request, stressing that a hearing would happen whether the mayor and police department supported it or not.

“People need to know that what has been counted and what hasn’t, and what the real crime data is,” said Fioretti, who also wants more police resources including 500 new officers. “I hear it everywhere I go: Safety is the No. 1 concern.”

The meeting is being held at 10 am this morning at the City Hall in Chicago City Council’s chambers.

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