The city of Chicago spends a lot of money fighting crime. This coming year, according to the Chicago Sunday Times, the municipality will allocate 53 million dollars. Added to this, it is also eligible for another $113 million in federal funds to tackle the crime problem in the 26 areas of the city, according to a recent report given by The Center Square staff for Just the News.
Regardless of the spending, the results do not seem to be forthcoming. Thus, according to a report conducted by the Illinois think tank, Wirepoints, there were 1,848 car thefts in 2021, triple the average of the previous 11 years (635) or that the data from the previous year prior to the pandemic 2019, there were 603 car thefts.
Crime is on the rise
At the current rate of theft, 1,960 vehicles will have been stolen by the end of the year. These are record numbers, which are coupled with another unprecedented figure: 76% are considered "aggravated" car theft. "Aggravated" means, in most cases, the presence of a firearm. One of the other notable factors is that the arrest rate has also fallen. The average arrest rate between 2010 and 2021 was 10%, so far this year, the rate is a barely 6%.
So far this year, through August 22nd, 425 murders have been committed. Last year at this time there were 519. This data shows the extent to which murders have grown in recent years, the numbers show that the 425 recorded up to last Monday are 33% more than two years ago, or 14% more than three years ago. In the same period this year, there were 12,035 thefts, 66% more than last year, and 5,223 robberies, 19% more than the previous year.
It's not just about the numbers in a statistic. A look at what has happened in the last few days gives us an idea of the need to address this problem. According to a recent report given by ABC last weekend, 37 people were shot last weekend. Four of them died. This information must be viewed with the observation that in only three hours, from the early hours of Monday to Tuesday, another 9 people were wounded by gunshot, according to information from Breitbart .
The Center Square has asked Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski about the destination of all the money dedicated by the City Council to security. "The question is, what is the correlation between these programs and the amount of violence on the streets," Dabrowski asked. Because "The crime is bad, even if the spending on the programs is high". The number of crimes is up 37%, and violent crimes are up 27% compared to the same period last year.
In its effort to tackle the issue, the City Council last year created the Community Safety Coordination Center, charged with coordinating the work of various agencies. It has been of absolutely no use and, is not fit for purpose.
What is the cause?
The amount of money is not the only element to be taken into account for the effectiveness of public policies, and it should not be the main one. At least as important is what programs those funds go to, and what those programs do. And programs will do one thing or another depending on the priorities set by the political leadership. And in the city of Chicago, that direction is set by its mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
Lightfoot's thoughts on crime can be summed up in these words, "This violence is rooted in decades of systemic racism as well as a disinvestment in our communities." Lightfoot adds that "to combat this, we have taken innovative steps to address both the immediate and long-term consequences of violent crime".
From $1 million to $10,000
One such measure has been to offer tips for those who report the use of illegal weapons. The program was put into operation on July 15, 2021. It offers $3,000 for tips that lead to charges against someone for buying and selling 10 or more firearms, $5,000 for those that lead to a conviction, $10,000 if the information leads to a murder charge and $15,000 if it results in a conviction.
The mayor considers it "one of Chicago's most important accomplishments in 2021." But so far the program has only received 44 calls. And of the $1 million budget, only 10.395 has been spent so far.
Coordination Center for Community Safety and Security
From one underperforming flagship program to another. The City Council has also created the, Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC), which has just completed its first year of operation. The press release that reviewed the entire CSCC performance, does not mention any benefits that is has acheived in this time.
It does detail the main programs put in place: coordination of the different departments, weekly monitoring of the areas with the highest incidence of violent crime, assistance for the payment of private security companies, infrastructure improvement and the creation of leisure alternatives for young people.
Tying the hands of police officers
All these efforts seem futile, considering the policies pursued by the other two relevant players in the fight against crime in Chicago: Governor Jay Robert Pritzker (D), and Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx.
Pritzker has pushed for a law, called the SAFE T Act, which passed in the Illinois Congress on January 13, 2021, with a slim majority, and which is the compendium of all progressive prescriptions on crime.
The rule eliminates bail, even for murder, except if the defendant poses a "real and present" threat against an "identifiable" and "specific" person. Mike Kootlidge sums it up: "if you kill your wife, for instance, you can be let out of jail while you await trial, posting no bail, because, well, she’s now dead, and you don’t 'pose a threat' to any other 'specific' individual." The judge can only jail you on bail if the killer fails and his wife survives.
But perhaps the worst thing about the law is that it leaves police officers' hands tied. Says Ogle County Prosecutor Mike Rock:
A serial drunk driver who repeatedly drives on our streets while impaired must be released because we cannot specifically identify the individuals they are putting at risk. The same applies to drug dealers, gun traffickers, felons in possession of guns, serial arsonists, and many other violent criminals.
George Soros to the rescue
At least as important as Mayor Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker is Cook District Attorney Kim Foxx. George Soros earmarked $2 million to fund her campaign; it's one of 75 prosecutors Soros has in his pocket, according to the report. Justice for sale prepared by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund.
John McGinnis, a professor at the Pritzker School of Law at Northwestern University, has written an article for the City Journal in which he assesses the factors leading to the current crime situation in Chicago.
A culture of impunity
McGinnis recalls that James Q. Wilson coined the broken windows theory, according to which if you let disorder be seen on the streets, that situation leads to more crime because it makes it look like no one cares. The jurist media outlet says:
Foxx seems almost to want broken windows, instituting a policy not to seek felony charges against retail theft unless it exceeds $1,000. The result has been not just more retail theft but even worse, a culture in which young people become habituated criminals without fear of substantial consequence.
The number of firearm homicides in Cook County increased in 2021 by 13% to 1,002 .