CITY HALL — Mayor Lori Lightfoot spent her first weekend as mayor criss-crossing the city, keeping tabs on efforts to tamp down violence, which typically spikes on Memorial Day and can signal whether the summer months will be particularly bloody.
“I didn’t come into this with any illusions that we were going to be able to wave a magic wand and reverse trends that have been in the making for some time,” Lightfoot said, noting that the number of murders dropped to five from seven last year, while the number of people shot increased from 39 to 43 people.
“That’s clearly unacceptable,” Lightfoot said. “The plan we have will bear fruit. But it won’t be instantaneous that we are going to see things turn around.”
In addition to adding 1,200 police officers to Chicago’s streets, Lightfoot “flooded the zone” by offering “more than 100 youth programs, activities and community events” as part of an “Our City. Our Safety” initiative.
“A lot of what we are seeing out there is crimes of poverty and we have to invest in the South and the West Side,” Lightfoot said. “That’s going to be the ultimate difference maker.”
Lightfoot said city agencies would continue to collaborate as part of her strategy.
“I feel like we are moving in the right direction,” Lightfoot said.