Last week, on Friday August 1st, officials held a public hearing to discuss the latest statistics on Chicago crime. As we wrote in our last blog post, many are questioning the accuracy of these statistics. Crime rates are the lowest they have been for over two decades, but all we every see on the news is a report about another bloody shooting. Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy, surrounded by staff, faced city alderman last week and defended reports. Who’s really to blame? McCarthy believes the news organizations.
News Organizations to blame?
McCarthy criticized News organizations for the time they devote to the killings and other crime, believing that this festishism results in the perception that Chicago is the â€œcrime capital of the country.â€ He stands behind his remarks, believing that Chicago shouldn’t hold that title, and that the crime rates are accurate.
â€œThrough the first seven months of this year, murders are down 55 percent from 20 years ago and tdown 40 percent from 10 years ago, and down seven percent from last year’s record-setting lows,â€ stated McCarthy. While he is happy with the decrease in rates, some are still not buying it.
Many of the alderman left the hearing feeling as if all of the real, hard hitting questions asked of McCarthy were side-stepped. The alderman feel that the issue is not the statistics, but rather the perception.
Perception vs. Fact
â€œMy son was in Ghana and some kids were getting an opportunity to come here for a program and when they heard that they were going to come to Chicago, they started crying,” stated Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th Ward.
Whether crime rates have decreased or not, it is true that the Chicago population feels unsafe; especially in certain areas where crime is concentrated. Burnett continues, â€œIf you have a minority young man in your family, you are always on pins and needles every time they walk out of the house because you do not know what is going to happen you are always worried.â€
More man power seems to be the request of many of the alderman. “Shootings and murders are not isolated here on the South and West side. We need more manpower,” said Ald. Bob Fioretti, 2nd Ward.
McCarthy is invested in the statistics, and states that they accuracy of these numbers is what helps the department understand where resources are needed, and what needs to be done to fight crime.
“We will not rest until every person in the city of Chicago and every community feels the effect of what those statistics are talking about,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
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