Garry on Crime


Every Chicagoan deserves to feel safe.  Despite years of promises from the Mayor, crime continues to spread and infect every neighborhood in the city.  No place is safe.  I’ll be ready to lead on day #1 to make this city safe again.

Crime is the root of much of our city’s problems.  When violent crime rises, many families leave the city in search of safer neighborhoods, draining our city of diversity and eroding our tax base.  What is Mayor Emanuel’s reaction?  He closes schools in the very communities that need them most, robbing their residents of local beacons of hope, community, and safety.  To add insult to injury, he then increases taxes on working families and the middle class to compensate.  It is a dead-end policy that is wrong and unfair, and I’ll bring a stop to it.

There is a better way.  I’ll be a Mayor who will make fighting crime our first priority.  I’ve served nearly 35 years in public safety.  I’ve been a street cop.  I’ve fought injustice inside of police organizations.  I’ve been called on to mend communities that have been torn apart by racially sensitive incidents with the police.  I’ve also helped reduce violent crime in senior leadership positions in New York City, Newark, and here in Chicago.

As Superintendent in Chicago, I implemented a crime reduction strategy that resulted in a 37% reduction in crime, the lowest murder rates in our city since 1965, and a dramatic reduction of complaints against officers and police-related shootings.  Moreover, we reprioritized the department’s enforcement strategies to cut mass incarceration.  That policy shift helped CPD increase gun arrests while cutting the volume of overall arrests. 

Under my leadership, CPD implemented an innovative program to curb the gun violence that occurs as a result of the city gang culture.  While community policing enforcement strategies were a big part of that, so were non-enforcement strategies such as using data to track gang activity and meeting with gang members’ families to attack the problem from the inside.

We need to implement a comprehensive plan that offers a dynamic, state-of-the-art approach to crime prevention and reduction.  My crime strategy requires a Mayor with the political will to implement, supervise, and communicate with the public.  I will provide that leadership and the following policies to make it possible.

  1. Turning the tide against violent crime in Chicago begins with restoring legitimacy to city government by eliminating the political manipulation and micromanagement of the police department by City Hall.
  2. Initiate a top to bottom review of the disciplinary system of CPD by a blue-ribbon panel of experts to examine all aspects of the system, including the role of COPA and the Police Board.
  3. Dispatchers should work for CPD rather than OEMC. Department policies such as beat integrity and Emotionally Disturbed Person protocols would be observed.
  4. Use data-driven policing strategies to reduce specialization, enhance professional management, and put more police on the streets.
  5. A clearly delineated career path must again be established for all ranks, especially exempt members. We will reduce the percentage of meritorious promotions in the Department.
  6. While more resources may be required to reverse the higher crime trends of the last 3 years, what the CPD needs most is dynamic, honest, and professional leaders in positions of responsibility, as well as a real partnership with City Hall.
  7. Restoring public trust in the police department will require completely depoliticizing decision-making, hiring, and public communications.
  8. We will roll out the Community Relations Strategy that was created in conjunction with the community, but shelved by the current administration in 2015. With this strategy put in place, we will have the difficult conversation about the racial tension affecting not only this city, but also the entire country, and the historic socio-economic divide that has caused it.  While wearing body cameras may increase officer integrity, it will not help overcome 400 years of systemic government racism in this country.
  9. We will implement the most forward-looking, rigorous training regimen in CPD’s history. These programs will cover the range of important issues that impact the rank-and-file: community policing, interaction with the public, active shooter situations, anti-gang strategies, etc.
  10. Neighborhood improvement occurs at the intersection of public safety, public education and public health. We’ll be making bold, new policy announcements on how to fight crime through a holistic policy approach.
  11. Implement an enforcement strategy that deprioritizes routine drug arrests and puts possession of illegal-firearms and anti-gang strategies as our first concern.
  12. Community policing, along with an integrated social services network—including neighborhood outreach and participation—are integral to making Chicago safe again. Community policing is not merely a strategy, it is a philosophy that will drive our progress.

The culmination of these new policies will help strengthen the bonds between the police and the citizens they protect.  This mayor has been tough on the police as a result of political calculation.  This has resulted in a policy that has allowed mass murder to occur in Chicago.  The aforementioned steps represent the minimum steps necessary to help create a functional, healthy police department. We will create a holistic, groundbreaking vision for public safety that reduces crime, in cooperation with the community, backed by city services to ensure a lasting impact on the community.


Paid for by GMFM – Garry McCarthy for Mayor.

A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website ( or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.