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Emanuel: McCarthy's "Treading Water" Comments Overblown

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 28, 2012 10:05PM

2012 City of Chicago/Brooke Collins

Mayor Rahm Emanuel was in damage control mode Monday, trying to clarify remarks made by Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

McCarthy, responding to questions after another weekend that left nine people and 25 injured in shootings across the city, said the Police Department was “treading water” in its efforts to stem the violence that has made national headlines across the nation.

Emanuel wanted the media to be sure that the Police Department was not treading water and was in fact swimming confidently to shore.

“I talked to Garry about that. That’s not [what he meant]. What he was talking about is a particular area at a particular point. Overall . . . crime is down 9-to-10 percent. That doesn’t just come your way. You have to go work for it,” the mayor said. “Where we have tried new tactics — like in Englewood where you see a 25 percent drop in homicides — how do we take that to other places? In the [Grand Crossing] district, we saw we had a problem, put [in] new leadership [and] we’ve seen a dramatic change in just the last three weeks . . . We have to now deal with what’s happened in Grand Crossing over the weekend — and we will do that.”

Emanuel blamed the spike in violence on gang activity in the Grand Crossing District and expressed confidence the gang audits credited with reducing crime in the Englewood and Harrison districts will have the same effect there.