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Rahm Defends Crime Strategy, Blames Daley Without Naming Him

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 13, 2012 4:40PM

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Photo via Chicago Mayor's Office Facebook page.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended the strategies being used by the Chicago Police Department to fight violent crime, as he faces rising criticism over a murder rate that increased by 60 percent in the first three months of 2012 over the same time frame last year.

Emanuel said the strategies being employed by the Police Department should have happened sooner.

“You can say, are you doing it right? [But] the question is, why were those policies not done before? Why was it the police department was not organized to have a gang audit to do pro-active efforts to intervene on reprisal shootings that are driving the numbers? We’re doing that,” the mayor said.

“We have a particular problem in the city as it relates to gangs and we were not organized across a waterfront of areas: policing, dealing with liquor stores in communities or our prosecutorial laws in dealing with that gang problem and getting that organized.”

Emanuel didn't name his predecessor Richard M. Daley or former Police Supt. Jody Weis by name, but Emanuel's comments seemed targeted at Weis, in particular. Emanuel said he and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy have implemented a stricter curfew police, spent more on after-school programs, initiated gang audits and cracked down on convenience and liquor stores that attract gangs in their efforts to stem the rise in violent crime. Neither Emanuel nor McCarthy say the unseasonably warm winter is a factor for the spike in murders.