In 2016, Chicago experienced an unprecedented spike in gun violence. From 2015 to 2016, Chicago saw a shocking increase in homicides of 56% from the previous year — 778 people were killed and more than 4,200 people were shot. The spike led to headlines about “out of control” violence and for President Donald Trump to declare that “Chicago is like a war zone.”
But very little has been written about what followed: Over the past three years, homicides in Chicago decreased by 37%. In 2019, the city experienced fewer than 500 homicides — the fewest since 2014.[…]
Forty foundations and funders — including Chicago’s professional sports teams — came together to form the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities. Since its inception, PSPC committed $75 million toward reducing gun violence in Chicago. Nine community outreach groups from different neighborhoods formed Communities Partnering for Peace — a coordinating body that meets every other week. The University of Chicago’s Crime Lab became involved in the day-to-day decision-making of the police with analysts working daily in the districts (possible because of a $10 million donation). State Attorney Kim Foxx, Chicago’s equivalent to a district attorney, shifted resources away from low-level offenses to create a new unit of prosecutors who are embedded in police districts struggling with gun violence.
This is all good stuff, but also another example of how we pour money into preventing and dealing with the after effects of gun violence, all while letting gun manufacturers flood the country with guns.
I lived in Chicago in the 80’s, and I always felt that the East Coast media (a.k.a., the media) really internalized the notion that Second City is first loser, so I’m glad to see a positive story about what sounds like a real achievement.