Today Mayor Rahm Emanuel marched against violence in the Austin community with 29th Ward Ald. Deborah Graham, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, community leaders and residents. The Mayor spoke about the recent passage of a City Council ordinance regarding curfew hours for Chicago’s children.
“Nothing is more important to Chicago’s future than the safety of our children, which is why we have moved aggressively to pass a stronger curfew ordinance to help keep kids out of harm’s way,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Parents and community members have a critical role to play in keeping our children safe, and I am heartened that the Austin community is energized and organized to reduce violence and protect our youth.”
“The Austin community is mobilizing against violence; we are committed to making our neighborhoods safe places for our children to grow, learn, and play,” said Alderman Graham. “The new curfew ordinance will help us achieve that goal. I am proud by the actions we have taken to make our neighborhoods safer, and I am pleased that Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent McCarthy are committed to partnering with our communities to reduce crime.”
The City of Chicago curfew ordinance applies to children ages 16 years and younger.
Superintendent McCarthy’s participation in today’s march marks his second visit to the Austin community this month. On July 19, McCarthy spoke to a standing room only audience about his Department’s aggressive crime- and violence-reduction strategies. Supt. McCarthy also stressed the importance of community involvement to reducing violence.
“To combat crime, we need the moral authority and active participation of the community at our backs,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “I am honored to march with the committed residents of Austin as they stand up and speak out against violence.”
Today’s march follows a week of actions by local government to make Chicago’s neighborhoods safer.
On Thursday, the City Council passed an ordinance enhancing Chicago’s curfew law. Studies show that curfews are an effective way to reduce violence and decrease arrests among youth. Three years after San Antonio, Texas enacted a curfew, the victimization of youth dropped 84 per cent; Detroit, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and other cities report similar results.
Curfew violators are subject to a fine of up to $500 or community service. Three offenses in a twelve-month period can trigger a fine of up to $1,500 in addition to community service.
The Council also passed an ordinance addressing responsibility for vacant buildings. Vacant buildings threaten the safety of neighborhoods by providing criminals with a safe haven. The new Council ordinance requires banks and other lenders to see to the maintenance of foreclosed-upon buildings.
On Wednesday, Mayor Emanuel, Superintendent McCarthy, and CTA President Forrest Claypool announced that the CTA will invest in hiring 50 full-time police officers to patrol CTA rail and bus stations.
Since taking office in May, Mayor Emanuel has announced the deployment of nearly 750 additional police officers to patrol Chicago’s neighborhoods.
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