A task force working to reduce gun violence in Cook County, IL released a report on their findings Wednesday criticizing agencies’ lack of training and failure to coordinate their efforts.
The in-depth report was compiled from data collected during 10 months of research and public hearings. The task force outlined a variety of suggestions to reduce violence in the county through a variety of tactics and policies, from endorsing “hot spot” patrols to increased funding for employment anti-violence programs.
Addressing the lack of efficiency uncovered by the task force, the report said, “The Cook County Gun Violence Task Force has determined that the quality and level of training and reporting for law enforcement, and other stakeholders within the criminal justice system, could be significantly improved.”
Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin said federal law prevents the State Police from sharing data on gun traces with any group other than the law enforcement agency that requests the trace, but individual police agencies could share the information among themselves.
An intra-county database could allow police to follow guns, helping solve crimes and locate sources of weapons, said John Donovan, special assistant and counsel to Sheriff Tom Dart. Likewise, police agencies could track crime trends more easily if they had a uniform system for reporting and exchanging information.
“We have a blueprint. We have to implement it,” Boykin said Wednesday, without clarifying how many of the recommendations made in the report would be implemented.
With two weeks still left in the year, the Windy City has already reported a total of 4,204 Chicagoans have been shot in 2016, bringing the number of murders to a staggering 760.
While gun violence in the historically anti-gun city is no laughing matter, Hey Jackass! fired off a commentary featuring the famous (and fictitious) Weatherbug meteorologist James Westerbrook to take aim at the fact that even the frigid temperatures of December can do little to put the violence that has gripped the city for years on ice.
“If that 9mm or .40 slug doesn’t get you, it’ll be the cold,” said Westerbrook. “Anybody that’s going to be outdoors looking to shoot someone Wednesday night or Thursday, must bundle up. Ideally, you’ll want to take aim from a heated vehicle or indoors during an overcrowded house party.”
Westerbrook also tried to give gangbangers a little friendly advice, imploring them to ‘wear gloves with the trigger finger missing so as not to further degrade their already horrible aim’.
“Friday we’ll see temperatures rise a bit, which will make for better shooting conditions, however with snow in the forecast they may just have to stop killing one another for a few days” Westerbrook said. “There will plenty of time to kill your rival gang member between Christmas and New Years,” when the temperatures are expected to be more seasonal and favorable to violence.
As of November 30, the city boasted a pathetic homicide clearance rate of 18.4%, so criminals know they have about an 80% chance of getting away with their brazen acts of gun violence – regardless of the forecast.