Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan to combat violence over Memorial Day weekend has been a pillar of successive administrations’ efforts to fund street activists, youth programs and mass shootings to combat and prevent mass shootings. This includes increased police presence throughout the city.
It will be Johnson’s first major warm-weather vacation as a Chicago city leader, but it comes before he elects a permanent superintendent to lead the Chicago Police Department. And that’s after the downtown youth riots earlier this year put Chicago back in the unwanted spotlight.
Johnson’s office said the city will “increase its presence throughout the city and on the lake this summer” as part of its anti-violence efforts. His office also advertised $2.5 million in anti-violence funding from the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities as part of an ongoing effort since 2016.
In addition, the state will send 30 “peacekeepers” to Chicago over the holiday weekend to help defuse potential violence.
Like his predecessor, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Mr Johnson has pledged to take a comprehensive “whole of government” approach to dealing with violence.
“Your safety is my number one priority,” Johnson said.
Memorial Day weekend in Chicago traditionally marks the beginning of a summer surge in street violence. There have been 11 murders in recent years that have ruined the holiday.
Johnson campaigned on a policy platform calling for changes in the city’s approach to street violence, including more preventive measures that address the root causes of crime, such as poverty.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took office less than two weeks later, will have to balance short-term efforts with long-term solutions to dispel fears that he will “defund the police”. I’ve been trying. Before he took office, Mr Johnson announced that he would be appointing police veteran Fred Waller as interim superintendent, bringing stability to his station.
At a press conference on Thursday, Mr Waller said police officers had “launched a massive crackdown on the West Side, targeting open drug markets and 25 criminals involved in violent acts”.
Such police pursuits are a known tactic ahead of the holiday weekend as the CPD attempts to quell the violence.
Waller did not elaborate on the investigation, and CPD representatives were not immediately available to provide further details about the arrests.
He also said police would not interfere with the efforts of the 30-man peacekeepers assigned by the J.B. Pritzker administration to mediate street conflicts.
“They go out, they work, they communicate with us in some way, but we don’t ask them to tell us everything they do,” Waller said. . “But we are seeing areas where there is no violence, where there is violence.”
As in years past, all active-duty CPD officers will have at least one day of leave revoked over the holiday weekend, Waller added.
Eight years ago, Tamar Manase founded Mothers Against Senseless Killings, and she and her peers have worked together to reduce gun violence in the area on 75th and Stewart streets in Inglewood. continue to occupy the corner of Like other anti-violence groups, MASK will host barbecues, karaoke and spade tournaments in the area throughout the holiday weekend.
Manase praised Johnson for being actively involved with community groups.
“In all the years that we have occupied that corner, there has never been a regime that could actually work with us, a regime that has actually kept its promises,” said Manasseh.
Top stories selected by the editors of the Chicago Tribune delivered to your inbox every afternoon.
Four years ago, the City of Lightfoot announced plans for a Memorial Day weekend. The plan includes placing an additional 1,200 police officers on the streets, promoting more than 100 youth programs offered by city officials and community groups, and deploying a dedicated Chicago Transit Authority patrol team to enhance safety. It included doing at the station.
Mr Johnson’s program included an initiative that Mr Lightfoot and other city hall leaders had pursued for years, but the new mayor called it “the type of city we all look forward to living in. It was touted as an important attempt to bring a ‘holistic approach to building
Asked whether Memorial Day weekend would be a “success or failure” holiday for his administration, Johnson said: It’s important to show a holistic approach,” he said.
But he stressed that “this is not just a strategy centered around police crackdowns.”
“We need the cooperation of individuals to ensure activity in Chicago,” Johnson said. “Don’t get me wrong, this administration has made it clear that it invests in people.”
Through the press conference, Johnson tried to lay out an optimistic vision, but like all mayors before him, it will only be controlled by how the weekend unfolds.
“We are the City of Chicago,” Johnson said. “The best story ever told.”