Chicago has a seen a huge spike in homicides this year, largely due to increased gang violence. A reported 203 homicides have occurred from Jan. 1st to late May, which was a 50 percent increase from the same time last year. In an effort to combat the serious problem, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy, unveiled an enforcement plan on Tuesday.
Dozens of specialized undercover officers will be planted in the West and South sides of the city to quell the violence sparked by territorial violence. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn also signed the Illinois Street Gang RICO Act that aims to dismantle gang violence by boosting penalties for crimes. The demolition of the city's public housing is said to have created territorial pockets in neighborhoods bought up after the financial crisis.
“In the past, the gangs were very organized from the top down,” said Sgt. Matthew Little of the Chicago Police Department’s gang enforcement unit to the Associated Press. As more gang leaders are arrested, convicted, and sent to prison, the gangs they left behind have become “very splintered.”