Don't Send In The Feds: Chicago Police Department Goes High-Tech To Stop Rising Crime And Violence

The city of Chicago has witnessed a horrifying uptick in gun violence this past month. Forty-nine people were killed, while another 244 were wounded in the month of January alone. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and police department Superintendent Eddie Johnson have unveiled a high-tech plan that they hope will reduce the number of shootings in the city.

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Image from: vxla

A disproportionate number of shootings occur in the impoverished neighborhoods of Chicago’s west and south sides. The idea is to focus on a small number of people who commit violent crimes in the places it most often occurs. The Chicago police department plan to increase the number of surveillance cameras in the neighborhoods as well as deploy ShotSpotter sensors that pick up the sound of gunfire. The police would also like to introduce predictive policing software that would figure out which areas are most likely to witness violence and who is most likely to commit the violence (i.e. someone with an arrest record). The department also plans to set up a “war room”-esque office where they would translate the data collected from the sensors, cameras, and software.

Many police departments believe that predictive software will help them to be more professional and efficient. However, civil rights groups are concerned that this kind of software could potentially discriminate against certain people. A recent investigation of the police department revealed that a number of officers often used force when it was not necessary, particularly in the arrests of African Americans and Latinos. It has also be revealed that while Chicago’s homicide rates increased by 58 percent, the number of arrests related to killings dropped from 36 percent to 26 percent. Mayor Emanuel stated that Chicago would need to hire and better train more officers, as well as implement more social services like after-school programs, in order to better eliminate the violence.

President Trump recently tweeted that he would send in the federal troops if Emanuel does not end the “carnage”. Emanuel responded that he welcomes aid from the federal government and noted that the feds already help with gun trafficking. Trump and Emanuel have yet to discuss the manner in person or over the phone.