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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday presented a much anticipated three-part crime-fighting plan to tackle the city's devastating violence.
"There are three paths we must take to confront this challenge," he told a crowd of 300 faith leaders, community advocates and city officials at Malcolm X College. "There is enforcement, there is investment, and there is prevention. And each is dependent on the others."
Emanuel stressed the importance helping and supporting the Chicago Police Department. "As I have said before, and I want to repeat today: respect is a two-way street."
Police officers should not be "taunted" while trying to do their job, as much as officers cannot "belittle" citizens who come to them for help — both of which have been seen on video, he said.
The mayor said he would not only add more cops to the force, as laid out by police superintendent Eddie Johnson the day before, but would also put more money into advanced crime-fighting technology.
In addition to body cameras and tasers for every officer, Emanuel will add gunshot-tracing cameras in high crime areas.
"These cameras will help our officers respond more quickly to shootings, while providing evidence to help identify and convict violent offenders," he said.
Emanuel also asked Illinois legislators not to "mimic Washington," and instead act on stiffer gun laws within the state. He foreshadowed a bill, slated to go before lawmakers, that would hold gun stores "accountable for flooding our streets with weapons." A different bill would ensure repeat gun offenders get maximum sentencing.
In order to aid downtrodden neighborhoods most afflicted with crime, the mayor promised $8 million to help develop small businesses and create work for the community. "The best anti-crime program is a job," he said.
The third and "most important" prong of his plan, he said, is to fund mentorship programs for young men and boys in crime-ridden areas of the city.
"Many of these young men are dropouts. They do not have jobs. They do not have hope. They do not see a future. And many of them do not have positive role models in their lives." Emanuel said. "We need to provide each of these young people with a moral education and purpose."
The mayor pledged $36 million, including private-sector donations, over the course of three years for mentorship programs like "Becoming A Man," which helps steer inner-city youth away from gangs and crime.
"We need to strengthen policing, prevention, penalties, and parenting," he said. "It will not be easy. Real and lasting change never is."