CPD is dealing with an explosion of gun violence in the city by increasing officer overtime hours, but some experts question the long-term benefit of the strategy.
Chicago’s gun violence is soaring. Recently, Chicago saw 21 shooting injuries in a single day – three of them fatal. The next day, four died in a mass shooting at a home in Englewood, and the following day saw 5 shootings.
To combat the crime, CPD is increasing officer overtime. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said they will target the city’s most violent neighborhoods with extra police presence, including longer hours for officers on patrol.
“We are flooding these zones,” Lightfoot said.
But expert David A. Harris, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law said that often gun violence cannot be prevented.
“Simply by having more police boots on the ground, if you have a shooting inside a home or another kind of building, there typically won’t be police presence,” he said.
He believes that increasing hours for officers in the short term may be better than doing nothing, but ultimately CPD needs more manpower.
“A greater need for more people, you can achieve that in the short term by increasing the hours they work. You just have more of them around for longer periods of time,” Harris said.
CBS2 reported that in two of the districts with mass shootings, 12-hour days for officers were implemented. Other areas where officers were assigned to 12-hour days were chosen due to crime data and patterns.
Although increasing manpower in high-crime areas will increase response time to shootings, Harris says that ultimately police have to build relationships with those in the communities they serve in order to prevent crimes in the first place. However, he admitted that building trust takes time.