More police presence promised

Police will invest more resources in high crime areas in the wake of a wave of gun violence that mostly plagued the South and West sides since April 18. At least 40 shootings, nine fatal, occurred since that time, police said, adding that the increased temperature may have contributed to the increase in violence. To halt the rash from repeating, Supt. Jody Weis said more bike, foot and squad car patrols will hit the streets, in addition to increased gang, tactical and SWAT teams because “we have just too many gangs, too many guns and too many drugs on the street.” Of all the shootings, nearly half were gang-related, he said. One the short list to crack down on crime, police will go after the top dogs in gang organizations. “The gang investigations section will be more proactive with gathering information and attacking the gang hierarchy from the street up. We will definitely be targeting the leaders,” First Deputy James Jackson said at a news conference Sunday at police headquarters. But Jackson and Weis said it would take more than the police to stop the violence, parents and the community need to get involved. Seven juveniles were victims of the shootings, five of them were shot after curfew hours, 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. “Law enforcement can’t replace good parenting, and the police cannot do it alone. We need parents to take responsibility. We need the community to come forward with information on offenders who might be harboring guns and selling drugs,” Weis said.

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