Crime is the problem, empowerment is the answer, Chicago police officer says
A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted the risk of murder in America and included data stating that homicides in the U.S. rose by 9 percent in 2017, with Chicago seeing 771 murders last year, a 58 percent increase from 2015 and more than New York and Los Angeles combined.
Chicago Police Officer Dean Angelo Sr. discussed the trend with Chicago City Wire and why there are as many murders in the city now as there were in some cities in the 1990s when drug wars were taking place.
"More people, more opportunities," Angelo told Chicago City Wire. "More opportunities for earnings but also more opportunities for people who want to take your earnings and more opportunity to have a larger percentage of people that are disenfranchised."
Angelo pointed to crimes which took place in neighborhoods generations ago, explaining that there has been little upward mobility in these areas, including West Garfield Park, leaving them susceptible to crime.
"For someone to think 'why can't these kids do better or succeed more?' I say why haven't you taken funding and put in a youth center that's actually productive," Angelo said.
Regardless of age, race or gender, everyone is susceptible to violent crime, no matter the time of day or part of town.
"Victims are all over the place," Angelo said, "from a 78-year-old Hispanic grandma to the off-duty retired African-American male."
Angelo believes that many of the issues that are related to the crime increase in Chicago could be solved in part by creating an infrastructure to help young individuals born into challenging situations succeed and become contributing members of society.