The Chicago Police Department is adding 200 homicide detectives to the force after the city notched the most homicides it’s seen in a quarter-century.
Police Supt. David Brown said Tuesday that 200 new detectives will be brought in this year, saying 100 of them are already under training and the city is planning to promote another 100 officers to detectives. The increase will bring the total number of homicide detectives to 1,300.
Chicago capped off 2021 with 797 homicides, the most seen in the city since 1996. The homicides last year were 25 more than recorded in 2020. Other cities in the nation saw an increase in homicides last year, but Chicago ended the year with more than any other city.
Chicago Police Superintendent Brown (Chicago PD) (Chicago PD)
Brown said there will be an increase in police cameras and license plate readers near expressways and retail locations to assist with the crimes. The department plans to expand its Carjacking Task Force efforts, as well as focus on the wellness of its police members.
He added while speaking to the media that the goal of the department is “building trust, getting out of the squad car, getting out from behind the desk.”
“That’s the linchpin to solving all crimes, perceptions of crime, perception of safety and actual safety,” he said.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown addresses reporters about a suspect in the killing of a 7-year-old girl earlier this year. A 14-year-old girl was shot in the head Wednesday night after being chased by gang members, officials said. (Chicago Police Department)
Brown said the department received 7,200 applications last year from people hoping to become police officers. He hopes to double the amount of applications this year.
Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the main enemy of the city is illegal guns and the city will also focus on cracking down on gangs.
Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a science initiative event at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)
“In too many neighborhoods, gangs are targeting young boys – young boys with promise, young boys with a whole history and opportunity in front of them,” Lightfoot said. “But they’re targeting them with false promises of wealth, an easy life, and a sense of purpose and belonging.”
Lightfoot pushed to defund the police in 2020 by $80 million amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd. But as crimes raged in the city last year, she called on the federal government to send additional law enforcement resources to the city in December.