New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles were in a dead heat for the most ignominious title imaginable: the number one most violent crime city in the nation. Chicago, however, outpaced both New York and Los Angeles, despite having a population smaller than both cities, and is currently undefeated with respect to the number of violent crimes including murders in its communities. See Chicago Tribune.
Chicago, the City that Never Stops Shooting
During any given weekend, the Chicago streets appear to be similar to any violent crime scene played out in any war zone in the Middle East as the death tolls mount. With respect to violent crimes, Chicago is far above New York City and Los Angeles, and has been for more than a decade. Chicago’s efforts to duplicate New York’s successful “Model Block Program,” were an abysmal failure and did nothing to quell the increase in violent crimes.
The Model Block Program called for undercover police officers posing as drug purchasers to attempt to make contact with the local, well known drug dealers in order to purchase drugs. If they were successful and were able to make the purchase, the dealers were then placed under arrest. This strategy has not met with much success in those areas that were well known havens for criminal activity, mainly because of the lack of support from the community. Residents in these crime infested communities have a deep seated distrust for law enforcement. Another reason for the failure of the Model Block Program in Chicago is that the gang problem is much worse in Chicago than it is in New York.
Much of the violent crimes committed in urban cities are created by gangs. Los Angeles has an estimated 100,000 documented gang members in the county, with about 40,000 concentrated directly within the city limits. New York has fewer than that and Chicago has an estimated 110,000 well organized, well entrenched gang members who have taken over certain areas of the city.
New York, the Big Apple Getting Rid of the Worms
New York City’s decline in violent crimes was nothing short of remarkable. After the 1990s crime spree, New York instituted policing strategies that tracked crime hot spots and flooded those neighborhoods with increased law enforcement. Precincts were required to advance enforcement policies in order to bring their communities under control. Unlike Chicago’s segregated neighborhoods, New York communities were infused with new people and money through gentrification or immigration; criminal elements were suppressed as a result. Since 1990, the murder rate in New York was cut by 85%.
Los Angeles, Not so Sunny When it Comes to Crime
Gang related violence was a trademark of Los Angeles in the 1990s. Law enforcement was given the task of improving relationships between the police precincts and the citizens in the most violent neighborhoods. The police departments partnered with some gang members in an effort to broker peace in the communities. Police officers were mandated to improve relationships with the communities, and this resulted in a decrease in crime in the areas.
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