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CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Chicago Police to announce the takedown and elimination of two drug markets operating on the southeast and north sides of Chicago and the arrest of 20 offenders with extensive criminal histories and multiple gang affiliations.
Chicago Police arrested eight offenders and are seeking eight others associated with an open-air drug market near the intersection of 85th and Commercial on the City’s Southeast Side after a two-month investigation. In addition, a three-month investigation culminated in the arrest of 12 offenders yesterday and seeking five others while seizing crack cocaine and three vehicles connected to a drug market operating on the City’s North Side on Bryn Mawr between Broadway Avenue and Sheridan Road.
Both investigations were in response to community concerns about violence and criminal activity in the areas and provide an important opportunity for positive change with the support of city services and community members.
“We are working each and every day to remove guns, gangs and drugs from our city’s streets, as these are the main drivers behind shootings and murders,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a result of the takedowns, 20 gang members from seven different street gangs have been arrested. We are putting those responsible for the violence in our communities on notice that we will be relentless in our efforts to ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe places to live, work and play.”
The investigations also mark the 30th successful engagement of Police and City services working together with the community in the Strong Blocks/SAFE Communities Wrap-Around Strategy implemented by Mayor Emanuel in May 2012.
The Wrap-Around Strategy coordinates City services and community-based programs in order to build upon and sustain the results of Chicago Police eradicating drug markets with an adverse impact on neighborhoods. Investigations this week in the South Chicago (4th) and Lincoln (20th) Districts galvanized resources and showcased comprehensive anti-gang and violence efforts.
The Wrap-Around Strategy integrates the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) Gang Violence Reduction Strategy with the coordinated efforts of various city services in order to reduce crime and bolster lasting, positive changes in communities affected by gang violence and crime. Graffiti removal, streetlight repair and abandoned properties and vehicles are several of the community concerns immediately addressed following the conclusion of a gang-controlled market takedown. Community programs also serve an integral role in engaging community members to sustain results.
“The conclusion of any one of our exhaustive investigations into gang-related narcotics activity means an opportunity for immediate and tangible positive change in our communities,” said CPD First Deputy Superintendent Alfonza Wysinger. “Through the Gang Violence Reduction Strategy, we will continue to dedicate resources toward eliminating drug markets operated by violent gangs in our communities to ensure the safety of residents throughout Chicago.”
Since the Wrap-Around Strategy was announced at the start of May, Chicago Police have executed 557 search warrants and conducted 2,731 raids resulting in 1,492 arrests and the seizure of 223 guns, 104 vehicles, more than $7 million in cash and $122 million in narcotics.
In July, CPD implemented the comprehensive Gang Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) plan, which is focused on preventing initial gang related violence and shootings, gathering and sharing actionable intelligence on gang related violence that has already occurred, and preventing future retaliatory violence. The goal of this initiative is to provide residents of Chicago with the best resources and strategies to ensure the safety of residents.
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