Since 2001, 1,976 Americans have died in Afghanistan. During that same period in time, 5,056 murders have taken place in Chicago.
Chicago increasingly resembles a war zone instead of a modern city in an industrialized nation. The spike in the murder rate has been blamed on a number of things, including warm weather and a low police force.
The Chicago Tribune reports that last weekend alone, eight people were killed and 40 people were wounded.
In fact, according to PressTV, dozens of American cities are seeing reversals of the downtick in crime rates. Murders nearly doubled in San Jose last year, and rose in Oakland, Sacramento, and San Diego.
None of these cities have seen the surge, though, that Chicago has seen. While the overall crime rate is down, the murder rate is up 54 percent this year – 169 murders in 2012, compared to 110 at the same point last year.
In May, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announced his “wraparound strategy,” meant to sharpen the city’s focus on improving neighborhood services after police target an area to eliminate gangs.
Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy has also brought to Chicago a program called CompStat. Developed in New York during the 1990s, the program seeks to help police target neighborhoods in which crime is likely to occur by analyzing crime report trends. More controversial measures that New York has taken to combat crime, such as the stop-and-frisk policy, have not been adapted in Chicago.
Andrew Papachristos, a Harvard sociologist who studies street gangs, insists that despite Chicago’s perceived need for more cops, the solution lies in a smarter police force. He said to the Austin Weekly News, “It's not about how many people you have on the street, but having the right people on the street - one good cop is better than three average cops."