Chicago's Struggle to Reduce Homicides

Reducing homicides in Chicago is hard job for the police, community groups, and everyone interested in making this city safe. Chicago has already experienced 24 homicides for the first four weeks of January 2015. Shootings on the south and west sides of Chicago are common place. What will it take to reduce homicides by 50 percent in Chicago during 2015? One would think that in the cold weather homicides would decrease a little in the Windy City. According to the Chicago Tribune Red Eye Homicide Watch there were 45 homicides in January 2013 and 24 in January 2014.

Unfortunately, these numbers represent a hard truth about Chicago's struggle to reduce homicides. The Chicago Police Department can only do so much because nobody really talks about committing a homicide, it just happens. Having a strong ground intelligence is good, but how can you predict that someone is about to take a life and shoot another person? It's hard to see into the future.

Most of the time community groups and police respond after the homicide has been committed. Everyone talks about shootings and homicides, but what about stopping the shooting before it actually occurs?

In order to stop or prevent shootings on the front end, people should be willing to intervene with their friends and associates that are involved in the violent lifestyle. This is one of the only ways that you can help reduce homicides in Chicago and throughout the nation. Violence Interrupters have the street credibility and street intelligence that allows them to get in and make sense of a volatile situation before it escalates to a shooting or homicide. Just like some detectives and beat officers may have their finger on the pulse in regards to what's going on in a particular community or city block. Chicago will continue to struggle in the area of reducing homicides until the community and police forge a meaningful relationship that leads to fewer homicides. When you have a big city being plagued with all types of violence (gang, interpersonal, domestic, drug), then this presents a big problem because the motives are all over the place. Somewhere along the way people have become desensitized to the violence like living in a war zone.

You can't blame the police for all of the problems associated with violence in Chicago because high rates of homicides have been a part of this city for many decades. People living in some of the most violence-plagued neighborhoods should organize and reach out to the troubled youth, and find a way to help stop the violence. We have to think out of the box for a possible solution to the continued bloodshed in Chicago. If the strategies you have in place are not working, then community leaders and police should be open-minded to change some of their strategies.