It was apparently not enough to ban guns for personal protection in crime-ridden Chicago. Recent changes in the city’s police department dictate the majority of crime reports will no longer warrant the dispatch of officers.
According to the department, crime scenes at which a suspect is “not on the scene and not expected to return immediately” and the victim is “safe, secure, and not in need of medical attention” will no longer get a police visit.
Many residents feel that the new policy disregards serious crimes such as burglary and theft.
Even Alderman Nick Sposato spoke out against the change, adding residents “want to talk to a police officer” and “want to know something is being done to prevent this in the future.”
The nebulous guidelines also present a potential problem. A homeowner arriving at his or her residence to find it burglarized cannot immediately know if the offender is still on the premises.
If police publicize the fact they will effectively ignore such calls, criminals can feel emboldened to stay longer at the scene of their crimes.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said he wants to put more officers on patrol rather than send them to crime scenes.
Himself a victim of “three or four” burglaries, McCarthy contends his policy will best serve the city’s residents.
He said he’d “rather have that officer on the street, doing something to prevent the next shooting than, honestly, making somebody feel better.”
Considering his city’s rampant gun violence problem, leaders should be worried about preventing the next shooting. Unfortunately, the misguided and disingenuous manner in which they are approaching the issue will only ensure more of the same behavior.
With a criminal element almost guaranteed a prospective victim is unarmed due to the city’s strict gun laws and further reassured by the fact police are not inclined to follow up on crime reports, this shortsighted measure like numerous others will likely just exacerbate an already unacceptable situation.
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Photo credit: Gravitywave (Creative Commons)