Police Expand West Side Narcotics Initiative to Reduce Violence Following Positive Results in 11th District, Targeted Narcotics Effort Launched in 15th District
CHICAGO – Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy today announced the expansion of the West Side Narcotics Initiative, an anti-violence effort focused on narcotics markets on Chicago’s west side, to the 15th District. The West Side Narcotics Initiative was originally launched in March in the City’s 11th District with redeployed officers that were part of 200 were moved from administrative jobs to the street. Since it began, the West Side Narcotics Initiative has led to 552 arrests in the 11th District. Additionally, murders are down 40 percent, shootings are down 38 percent, and overall crime is down 30 percent in that district.
“Removing narcotics markets, an economic driver of many West Side gangs, from our communities is an essential part of our strategy to reduce violence and crime in Chicago,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “More work remains to be done, but we are seeing tangible results from this narcotics initiative and expanding it to the Austin area will benefit the community as whole.” Under the plan, recently redeployed officers from the Department’s Narcotics Division conduct undercover operations to bust drug dealers in a targeted geographic area, in this case a District.
Following a bust, additional newly reassigned uniformed officers from the Bureau of Patrol then flood the area to prevent an immediate reemergence of drug dealers and gang activity. Wrap around services from other city agencies then engage neighbors and address immediate needs such as broken street lights and overgrown, vacant lots.
This initiative is a piece of the larger comprehensive policing strategy created, built and implemented under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Superintendent McCarthy. In less than two years the Chicago Police Department has seen a return to community policing; created Chicago’s first comprehensive Gang Violence Reduction Initiative; built a meritocracy and depoliticized the Department; instituted CompStat to track the effectiveness of crime prevention efforts; implemented Operation Impact to saturate high crime areas with officers; and developed a closer partnership with the communities and residents officers serve.