Is Smart Policing Driving Down Crime in Chicago?

Advances in technology have led to claims that smart policing is having an impact in reducing gun crime in Chicago.

That point of view was put forward in an article by Police Superintended Eddie Johnson in the Sun-Times in June.

Johnson was in Springfield for the signing of the Safe Neighborhoods Reform Act. The new state law promises stricter prison sentences for repeat gun offenders in Illinois.

Johnson said the bill is an “important component of the broader public safety strategy we have implemented throughout the first six months of 2017.”

Officers discuss the impact of smart policing in Chicago


The police superintendent said during the first six months of 2017 the Chicago Police Department implemented a smart policing strategy that shows early signs of progress.

Chicago Police made a conscious decision to make “district-level intelligence” the driver of its crime fight, Johnson said.

He pointed out five of the traditionally most violent police districts on the West and South sides of the city were given new strategic nerve centers, gunshot detection technology, and more robust integrated camera networks.

At the same time, analysts from the University of Chicago Crime Lab started working closely with police officers in the new nerve centers.

Johnson said this created actionable intelligence that not only helped police respond to crime but prevents crime from occurring in the first place.

He noted some dramatic declines in parts of the city, namely.

  • Englewood which saw a 30 percent reduction in murders, and a 32 percent reduction in shootings.
  • ·An 18 percent reduction in murders, and a 35 percent reduction in shootings in North Lawndale.

Johnson said Chicago Police Department is on course to meet Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s aim of 1,000 new police officers and detectives. They are being trained to use body cameras, Tasers and given de-escalation and mental health awareness training.

The senior police officer’s opinion piece was written before a violent July 4 holiday in Chicago. The police department was reported to be conducting “a very comprehensive review” after the city saw at least 102 people shot between late Friday afternoon and early Wednesday over the July 4 holiday.

This year, the violence was mainly confined to the south and west sides of the city where hundreds of officers on overtime were deployed over the July 4 holiday.

Firearms offenses are taken very seriously in Chicago. If you have been charged, please request a free case evaluation with the Abdallah Law Firm.

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