Chicago ended 2012 with 506 murders, earning the city the title of America’s murder capital, DNAinfo.com Chicago reported in January.
By contrast, Aurora, Ill., the state’s second-largest city, recorded absolutely no murders last year, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Why the difference?
It’s all in the way police approach the community.
“Aurora saw its factories shrivel and its street gangs thrive until the past five years, when its police methodically smothered the criminals by partnering with neighbourhood groups as well as state and federal law enforcement,” Bloomberg reported. “The agencies drew from the playbook used to get the Chicago crime icon Al Capone — attacking the enterprise, not just the violence it spawns.”
Aurora recorded 25 murders per 100,000 people in 2003 and 17 murders per 100,000 people in 2004, according City-Data.com. But the numbers have been steadily declining.
However, Chicago is moving in the opposite direction.
The city is chopping the nearly-$4.6 million community policing budget down to zero, according to the city’s 2013 budget plan.
That budget move could prove a deadly mistake for Chicago.
Just look at Aurora, where residents say without a doubt the community policing measures have made their city safer and increased their trust in the police department.
“I see cops on the corner and I think they’re doing a really good job,” long-time Aurora resident Myra Portillo told Bloomberg. “I feel safer most of the time.”
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