Just the other day the White House occupier said the abysmal jobs report was a step in the right direction, a claim so laughable he wound up stripping it from his canned stump speeches . But maybe such idiocy is simply a Chicago thing. Despite being faced with dire circumstances, in this instance an out-of-control murder rate, just bury your head in the sand and pretend all is well and you’re moving in the right direction.
Social scientists who have studied murder say they’ve gotten to a point where they can predict who is most likely to become a victim of homicide.
McCarthy wants to take that further. He’s laying plans to have his officers study criminals’ social networks to identify likely killers before they kill.
“It’s going to change the way we do police work,” McCarthy said.
He said other tactics he’s put in place already are paying dividends. On the West Side, for instance, in the Harrison District, the number of murders is actually down this year — by about 40 percent through the end of June.
And citywide, McCarthy said, the police have seen a “decrease in the increase” in shootings this year. Through March, shootings were up 40 percent citywide over the same period the year before, and murders were up 66 percent. Through the end of June, shootings were up by 9 percent compared to 2011, and murders by 37 percent.
“This isn’t declaring victory,” McCarthy said. “This is declaring that we’re starting to move in the right direction.”
Got that? An 37% increase in murders is a step in the right direction. OK.
Then again, maybe he’s right. Only 13 people have been shot this weekend in Chicagoland. Progress!