CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - It's been two weeks since veteran officer Eddie Johnson was sworn in as Chicago’s new police superintendent, and he's spending much of his time on a listening tour of Chicago’s neighborhoods.
Superintendent Johnson made it a priority to hear from the community shortly after he was appointed to the job by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Thursday night was his third ward meeting in just his first two weeks on the job.
“I'm just looking for feedback from the crowd, the community. See what their concerns are so we can try to address them,” Johnson said at the town hall meeting.
Johnson spoke to about 60 residents of the 33rd Ward on the Northwest Side. He acknowledged mistakes made by the Chicago Police Department and said he is working hard to fix those problems involving police misconduct.
Johnson was asked about the department's training in handling people with mental illness and told the crowd that right now only 24-percent of the force has undergone crisis intervention training.
He pledged to raise that number to at least 33-percent, which is considered the law enforcement standard. And with eleven-hundred shootings in Chicago so far this year, he was asked what he is doing to try to put the lid on crime with summer around the corner. Johnson says he’s increasing bike patrols and foot patrols.
“The bike officers I think that does two things. It makes them more mobile when we need them to be. But it also increases the community and police interaction because they're closer to them, they're not squad cars,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said that after the plunge in the number of police contacts made earlier in the year because of a new and much more complicated form that officers had to fill out. They are now seeing a weekly increase in the so-called "contact cards"
Johnson says that's because officers are finally getting the training they should have received earlier.