Police narrow focus to 450 criminals responsible for violence - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Police narrow focus to 450 criminals responsible for city`s violence

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago police say they've linked to a majority of the violence that has tarnished Chicago's image around the world to 450 criminals.

Those 450 were identified after Chicago cops completed a "gang audit" last year. They got names of gang members, focusing on those with serious criminal records and a history of violence. They discovered something astonishing. Yes, these criminals kill innocent victims, but they're mostly killing each other.

It's called CPIC, the Crime Prevention and Information Center on the 5th floor of Chicago Police Headquarters.

Analysts here can access every security camera in town, prompted by constantly updated message boards that reflect what's happening on Chicago's sometimes bloody streets. Shortly after, sometimes even before, beat cops arrive at the scene of a shooting, computers in their squad cars may already have received information about other, similar crimes and potential suspects sent from CPIC.

The data is how Chicago's top cop holds his top brass accountable, as we saw at Thursday's monthly meeting. Using a blizzard of computer-generated charts and displays, they analyzed the recent, shocking upsurge in homicide, McCarthy often expressing impatience.

"If they don't go away, they're gonna shoot tomorrow or the next day or the next week," McCarthy said. "The idea here is to swamp and destroy that gang."

McCarthy and other experts claim much of the bloodshed staining Chicago's sidewalks and streets can be linked to about 450 gang bangers, who are both killers and victims.

In the high-crime district around Harrison and Kedzie, for example, the murder rate is three times higher than the citywide average. But it turns out gang bangers there are killed at a rate 116 times higher than the average. If those gang killings could somehow be eliminated, the West Side neighborhood's murder rate would resemble the rest of the city. If McCarthy wants to reduce the body count, he needs to stop Chicago's gangsters from slaughtering each other.

"It's about saying, 'These are the guys. Now go get them, so they don't murder somebody or become the victim of murder,'" McCarthy says. "It's a murder reduction program. And it's probably the only one in the country. I don't believe that this method is being used anywhere else to identify those individuals most likely to be involved in murder."

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