According to published reports, violent crimes—including homicides, rapes, and robberies—have experienced an uptick in numerous American cities.
Although these concerns follow a period of historically low crime rates, the rise is disturbing and must raise concerns among law enforcement, private security, and law abiding community members.
Any level of violence is unacceptable as it brings brokenness to the lives of victims and their families, and wounds the heart of American communities.
FBI Director James B. Comey poignantly expressed his concern about violence by recently stating, “Sometimes people say to me, ‘Well the increases are off historic lows.’ How does that make any of us feel better? A whole lot more people are dying this year than the year before. And I don’t know why for sure.”
Chicago: America’s Violence Epicenter
In my July 10, 2015, article for the Epoch Times titled “Chicago Gang Crisis: Epicenter of Violence in America,” I detailed blistering violence continually making headlines in Chicago.
The article detailed the tragedies of Chicago’s murdered children and summoned a clarion call to America. I pleaded with the nation to listen to the cries of broken-hearted mothers losing their children to violence.
I cited sobering information, including a 2009 published report indicating that 508 Chicago children were shot during a 16-month span, with 25 killed.
The Chicago crisis continues especially in poorer neighborhoods. This past Memorial Day weekend saw six people fatally shot and 56 wounded. The blood bath in America’s windy city has no end in sight as the 66 homicides this May are 19 more than May 2015 and 25 more than May 2014. Already May is 50 percent higher than last year, putting it on pace to surpass the 500 homicides it experienced in 2012.
Aside from the fatalities, is the dramatic number of people being shot, making Chicago hospitals like triage centers for the battlefield.
As of the end of May, there are already over 1,200 shootings, compared to 800 at the same time last year.
Chicago is a city in crisis and the gangs, inseparable from the drugs, violence, shootings, mayhem, chaos, and death, are at the heart of the issue.
Gangs are injecting venom into America’s communities and throughout the nation. The FBI website describes it: “Thousands of street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs … sophisticated and well organized; all use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities, which include drug and gun trafficking, robbery, fraud, extortion, human trafficking, sex trafficking, and prostitution.”
Violence in Chicago is out of control and a full-force violence-prevention commitment must ignite in the city.
The renewal of Chicago will only be possible by transforming the Chicago Police to be ethical guardians building trust with the communities they have sworn to protect and serve.
Yet, as the police have responsibilities, so does the community. The police and the people in Chicago, and throughout America, must enhance a unity of effort, trust, and confidence.
There must be unity of effort, and it must take place in law enforcement agencies, neighborhoods, families, schools, workplaces, and faith-based communities.
We have just commemorated Memorial Day, one of America’s most solemn holidays that traditionally begins the summer season.
Unfortunately, the summer is off to a tragic start in Chicago. America must end the venom of violence being injected into the arteries of one of its most cherished cities.
When America realizes that being pro-police is inseparable from being pro-community, and fully dedicates itself to forging a unity of effort that builds trust, we will be on the path to violence prevention and reawakening the nation.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen To Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.