Chicago alderman, residents meet with new police commander amid downtown crime spike
CHICAGO - After the recent influx in violent crime in the heart of downtown, 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins is calling for more police manpower.
Hopkins says shootings, carjackings and robberies are all spiking in some of Chicago's most popular hospitality and entertainment districts.
"This is like nothing we've ever really seen before," said Hopkins. "We're seeing robberies that in the past, you would lose your cell phone, but now you lose your cell phone and you're beaten into unconsciousness," Hopkins said. "This is concerning everyone because it isn't just a property crime anymore. People are being physically harmed out there."
On Tuesday night, newly-appointed 18th District Commander Jon Hein, a 25-year CPD veteran, joined Hopkins in a public safety webinar and expressed optimism in solving the violence.
"I truly believe with this partnership we're going to show some positive results and we're going to get to where we want to be," Hein said.
As for a plan, Hein says going into every weekend, top CPD brass will come up with a strategy based on data, intel and crime trends.
"All hands on deck," Hein said. "We're watching, analyzing, and observing to see if these strategies are working. If they're not working, we can tweak it a certain way, but we try to deploy our resources to where the issues are happening."
While Alderman Hopkins has been critical of recent CPD response times, he doesn't blame the department itself, who he says is right now overwhelmed.
"We just simply don't have sufficient resources to respond to this increase in shootings, carjackings, and downtown robberies," Hopkins said.
Hopkins called for additional police manpower and also said the police department is being stymied by a judicial system that "seems to have lost its way."