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Chicago Police Superintendent Addresses Violence

Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy today said he's "disappointed" by last week's violence -- including more than 70 people shot, 12 fatally, from Wednesday evening through Sunday evening.

But after meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for about 90 minutes this morning to discuss the bloody week, McCarthy told reporters he's certain Emanuel has confidence in him and the department's crime-fighting efforts.

"He wants to know what's going on, just like I want to know," McCarthy said at the Englewood District police station on the South Side. "This past week, we're disappointed where we had 11 less shooting incidents that resulted in the same number of murders as last year. We focus on reducing shooting incidents and the murder rate follows."

In defending the department's strategies, McCarthy pointed to drops of 25 percent in shootings and 29 percent in homicides for the first six months of 2013 compared with a year earlier. However, many within the department believe cooler weather earlier this year helped tamp down on violent crime.

McCarthy said the department must be more aggressive on curfew violators in the city's parks.

"Having people shot at 12:30 at night in a city park can be prevented by the police if we clear that park and get them out of the park," he said in reference to the shooting of 5-year-old Jaden Donald in Cooper Park early Friday morning.

McCarthy also talked about new technology that will allow the department's community-policing program to share information about beat meetings and crime alerts with residents on Twitter. Three police districts will be the first to participate in the program: Englewood, Harrison and Near North.

The program will eventually be expanded citywide.

Copyright 2013 - Chicago Tribune

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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