CPD Deploys Foot Patrols in Operation Impact to Further Reduce Violence
Police Announce the Seizure of More than 1,550 Guns in the First 12 Weeks of 2013
CHICAGO – Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy today announced officers are now patrolling prioritized areas on foot as well as in vehicles as part of Operation Impact, targeting criminal activity in the 20 areas of the city with the most violent crime. Officers will be assigned to the foot patrols in these areas following their completion of the Police Academy and a 12-week field-training program. Foot patrol teams will be comprised of a varying number of recruits, veteran police officers and an area supervisor.
“The beat officer is the backbone of public safety and adding foot patrols in our strategic saturation zones is part of a larger, coordinated strategy that includes not just more police, but also stiffer penalties for serious offenses in our courts, stronger prevention in our communities and more stable parenting in our homes,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“Residents in the prioritized zones will not just see more officers in patrol cars, they’ll see Chicago police officers literally walking their streets,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “We are calling it Operation Impact and in the coming months, these new foot patrols will be phased into all the zones.”
Operation Impact follows the first phase of the strategic saturation initiative, which launched on February 1. The initial phase assigned nearly 400 officers to 20 specific geographic areas that have exhibited high rates of violence in the past. While these areas represent about three percent of the City’s landmass, they account for 20 percent of the violence.
During the next few months, foot patrols will be phased in to all prioritized areas, reducing the overtime costs of the strategic saturation initiative while continuing to saturate priority areas with additional officers.
“Operation Impact is an important part of our larger plan to reduce violence in Chicago,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “I want to be very clear that when we see progress and reductions in violence, it’s not from any one thing we’re doing, it’s from everything we’re doing.”
Superintendent McCarthy also announced that at the end of the first 12 weeks of 2013 more than 1,550 illegal firearms have been recovered from the streets of Chicago.
“Chicago Police have been adamant about achieving crime reduction and pursuing every available resource at our disposal to drive down violence in our City,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “Gun violence remains one of our toughest challenges and we need strong legislation to support our strides and to ensure the accountability of violent offenders for their crimes.”
The Morgan Park (22nd) District, where the announcements were made, is one of five Districts in Area South, which has accounted for the greatest number of recovered firearms and reductions in murders and shootings to date in 2013. In one incident last week, Area South Saturation Team officers arrested a 38-year-old gang member for Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon after a foot pursuit revealed the offender to be in possession of a fully loaded .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun with an extended clip.
In an unrelated investigation in Area South last week, Calumet (5th) District tactical officers on a violence reduction mission arrested a 27-year-old convicted felon and gang member on parole after seeing the offender in possession of a loaded .40 caliber semiautomatic handgun with an extended gun magazine. The offender was charged with Armed Habitual Criminal in addition to a warrant for the parole violation.
Other incidents Citywide demonstrated the danger posed by illegal guns. Area North Gang Enforcement officers on a gang suppression mission in the Austin (15th) District observed a subject loitering in a location known for narcotics sales. Further investigation revealed the individual was a convicted felon and gang member in possession of cannabis and a loaded revolver. The offender was charged with Unlawful Use of Weapon by Felon and Possession of Cannabis.
In Area Central, Area Central Saturation Team officers conducting a street stop in the Ogden (10th) District arrested a convicted felon and gang member after a street stop in an area with gang and narcotics activity. The offender had a .38 caliber revolver and was charged with multiple weapons-related offenses, including Unlawful Use of Weapon by Felon, Firearm Without Valid Firearms Owner Identification, and Firearm Registration Certificate Required.