Chicago officials crack down on problem businesses to help fight crime

Chicago police and the city's business department are looking for ways to solve city crime. They’ve ratcheted up their efforts in the past several weeks and the numbers are coming in.

Chicago police and officials from the city's business department believe they are on the right track. By working together, they believe they can help solve violent crime. But that, they say, could start with illegal or problematic businesses.

Announcing a targeted enforcement effort, members of Chicago police and the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection say they're cracking down on problem businesses -- specific areas they believe contribute to crime. The areas of focus include illegal party buses, illegal valet operators and stores selling unstamped cigarettes.

After an enforcement effort last weekend, officials announce cease and desist orders sent to 4 party bus operators along with the issuance of 20 citations, something aided by a city council ordinance beefing up the way the companies are monitored.

Officials also say 35 citations were issued to valet operators, including 3 who had no license and say they confiscated more than 200 unstamped cigarettes at problem businesses who they say cause crime to swell.

And they believe the enforcement efforts are paying dividends. The city nears 530 murders this year, but the Chicago Police Department says that is actually an 8 percent drop in the number of killings when comparing the same point in time last year.

And the department says that comes with a 16 percent drop in the total number of shootings, including in places historically known for violent crime.

Police also say at least 7 police districts have seen less shootings this year than when compared to 2015. Officials are also asking that residents report problem businesses by calling 3-1-1.