The city of Chicago is currently in the midst of a murder crisis, and officials are struggling to come up with strategies for responding to the violence. The city’s newest strategy, which starts this week, is to triage its response to 911 calls. Chicago police will no longer respond immediately to property, vehicle thefts, garage burglaries, or other crimes in which the suspect is no longer on the scene and no one is in immediate danger.
According to officials, the new rule will free up additional police officers to patrol Chicago’s streets. Some Chicagoans spoke to local affiliate CBS 2 to express their displeasure with the new policy.
Carmen Curio, whose home was burglarized on Christmas Day, is not happy with the changes.
“I think that’s ridiculous. I think if there’s a burglary, they’ve got to come. It’s what we pay for. They have to come” she said.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy insists that people are better protected when officers are on patrol, not tied up taking reports at the scene of non-violent incidents.
“I don’t mean to be flippant here, because I’ve been the victim of a burglary at least three or four times,” he said. “I’d rather have the officer on street, where he can prevent the shooting.”
McCarthy says he understands why people are shaken up after robberies, but the changes to police policy are still necessary.
“You’re upset; you’re violated. It’s happened to me. So, you’ve got to weigh it, and I’m making tough decisions,” McCarthy said. “I’m making a tough decision, but I’d rather have that officer on the street, doing something to prevent the next shooting than – honestly – making somebody feel better, because they’re responding rather than talking to them over the phone.”