Chicago mayoral contender Rahm Emanuel recently introduced his plan to “put more police on the beat, and keep kids, guns and drugs off the street.”
Emanuel’s anti-crime agenda includes adding 1,000 new cops to the neighborhoods that need them most without pulling them from other parts of the city. He intends to fund this initiative with the use of $25 million of “excess” Tax Increment Financing or TIF money.
Emanuel’s plan also would add 250 new cops on the streets over a three-year period.
Emanuel claims that he will also cut bureaucracy, crack down on abuse of police sick leave—by “medical abusers” who earn full pay but leave fighting crime to their colleagues—and expand the Chicago Police Cadet program to get uniformed officers who are working desk jobs back on the street.
“I believe that the beat cop is the backbone of our police department and the backbone of an effective policing strategy,” Emanuel stated in an e-mail to Residents’ Journal.
Half of the 435 Chicagoans killed last year were between the ages of 10-25, and a majority of the crimes involving them occurred between 3 pm and 6 pm, according to Emanuel.
To address this serious issue, Emanuel said that if elected mayor, he would make sure to take thousands of at-risk kids off the street by expanding after-school programs to be citywide and open 5 days a week, running at least 2.5 hours a day.
“We’ll provide academic, athletic and artistic alternatives to further our kids’ education while keeping them safe,” declared Emanuel.
These steps, combined with stronger gun control laws, better coordination between city and federal prosecutors and active community engagement will help continue to drive crime rate down, Emanuel claimed
“Youth who do not graduate from high school are more likely to commit crimes and be the victims of violent crime, as well as facing increased likelihood of being unemployed,” according to Emanuel.
Emanuel said he plans to tackle Chicago’s high school dropout crisis by modeling an education program after New York City’s “small schools of choice program” as well as career academies.
He plans to task the incoming CEO of the Chicago Public Schools and the director of family and community engagement “to realign existing resources to expand programs for youth at highest risk for school dropout and criminal involvement as well as those who have already dropped out of school or who are involved in the criminal or juvenile justice system” for the 2011-2012 school year.
Emanuel also plans to pursue and prosecute the most serious offenders and gun traffickers by using existing collaborative efforts such as Project Safe Neighborhoods and the Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative. He would examine new ways to partner with federal authorities, such as being under the US Marshal’s Safe Surrender Program, which encourages residents who are wanted for non-violent felonies or misdemeanor crimes to voluntarily surrender to law enforcement in a faith-based setting and have their cases adjudicated in a safe and non-violent environment.
To help individuals released from prison integrate successfully back into society, Rahm promised to “bring together social service providers, government agencies and faith-based partners to develop comprehensive mechanisms for ex-offenders.”
While the Chicago Police Department collects more illegal firearms off the streets than any other police department in the country, Emanuel would encourage increased collaboration between the Chicago Police Department and federal agencies to fund and develop comprehensive systems for tracing and tracking information on guns used in crimes.
In addition, Emanuel promises to “push federal agencies to release that data to the public so that those who sell illegal guns can be held to account.”
Emanuel touted his previous government work to bolster his anti-crime credentials. As chief of staff to President Barack Obama, Emanuel introduced the Elder Justice Act as part of Obama’s health care reform bill— making crimes against seniors a federal offense.
And while in Congress, he sponsored the Jessica Lunsford and Sarah Lunde Act – much of which was later included in the bipartisan Children’s Safety and Violent Crimes Prevention Act, and twice voted to increase funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.
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