An expected bump in violent crime this summer has mayors and police officials rolling out familiar strategies of making officers more visible and engaging with community groups, in some cases leaning on civilians to enforce curfews and keep the peace. Chicago is among the cities under scrutiny after a mayoral race that focused on public safety in response to demands for change. Violence often surges during summer months, so this holiday weekend will undoubtedly ramp up pressure on Mayor Brandon Johnson’s new administration to deliver short-term improvement along with the long-term strategies that the former union organizer advocated while campaigning to lead the nation’s third-largest city, the Associated Press reports.
Chicago recorded by early Tuesday morning at least 11 killings and another 46 people wounded since early Friday evening. The death toll was the highest since 2015, when 12 people were killed over that year's Memorial Day weekend, the Chicago Sun Times reports. Most large U.S. cities are reporting fewer homicides this year, according to data collected by the Council on Criminal Justice, which created a Crime Trends Working Group in hopes of providing more real-time information on crime. The homicide decline is a tentative reprieve after spikes that began in 2020 and began to come down last year. The totals remain far higher than pre-pandemic reports and are “cause for serious concern but not for panic,” said Thomas Abt of the Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction at the University of Maryland. “Where cities are seeing success, they’re generally investing in a balanced approach that includes policing but ... also supports community-based approaches. They have recognized the need for enforcement but also emphasize prevention and intervention.”