Soon after Gary McCarthy was sworn in as Chicago's Police Superintendent he announced during one of his press conferences, after a particularly violent weekend, that the weather had little impact on crime. As soon as he said that I'm certain that veteran Chicago Cops and most likely cops all over the country cringed, I know I did. My thought was, he must have miss spoken. Not so, he actually meant what he said. I can assure you that any cop that worked the streets of Chicago or any City for that matter could tell you with certainty that he was dead wrong(no pun Intended). The process to hire a Chicago Police Superintendent starts with the Police Board interviewing candidates from across the Country and any locals who apply for the opening.
The Mayor picks the 9 member Board and they serve at his discretion and the advise and consent of the City Council. So fifty members of the Council, and 9 members of the Mayoral controlled Police Board, who are made up of Civic leaders, lawyers, and usually well healed members of the Community who the Mayor obviously favors.What would be correct to think that an X Ray Machine the size of a 747 would be needed to locate one Spine in all 59 of them.
During the interview process the Resume's are taken into consideration, past experience, interviews etc, are all vetted to rinse down to the best 3 candidates. Then the top 3 names are turned over to the Mayor for his selection.
My question is and always has been what do those Civilian Members of the Police Board know about Police work? By not having at least one veteran or retired police officer on that board those candidates avoided the question of why is crime so high in Chicago ,during the summer months? It may or may not have disqualified McCarthy but it would have sounded alarm bells. Hello! Its the weather stupid. All cops who work the City's streets most especially Gang Enforcement Officers know for a fact the weather is the single biggest factor in crime.
The Gang members will tell you that because of the lack of affiliates on the street, because of the winter weather clothing, hats, jackets, scarfs etc, it's almost impossible to pick out intended targets of gang retaliation. Add to that in the summer months, most are off school, and thousands more are out and about, then in winter months.
Now comes the proof of weather. The New York Times in using Philadelphia as a guide points out there were 2.6 shooting victims per day on average when it was cold, as opposed to 4.4 on pleasant days.On average twice as many people are shot in northern cities like Chicago, Detroit,Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Of course Chicago leads Philadelphia,Detroit, Baltimore and Milwaukee COMBINED during decent weather at 13 people shot per day.
The weekend of August 4th 5th and 6th, Chicago had 25 people a day shot on the 3 day weekend, bringing the total to 75 shot with 12 murdered. A weekend where the temperature soared into the high 90s. To break it down further hot is defined as 85 degrees, pleasant as 50 to 84 degrees and cold as under 50.
When the FBI releases it's Uniform Crime data for 2017 next week all indications are it will show that murderes have fallen slightly, this would match a slight drop in the national average annual temperature. Of course the New York Times was not alone in pointing out the weather factor. Joshua Goodman a Harvard professor examined the relationship between heat, air-conditioning and student test scores. Just imagine a similar story about increasing violence in communities where there is less reliable air-conditioning. Its the temperature and the weather stupid, humans think and act better when comfortable.
About 240 years ago Voltaire the great Enlightenment writer said something that seems to be aimed even today at Chicago's murderous street gangs,"It is forbidden to kill, therefore all murders are punished, unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets and cheers." When will it end ,when will they catch on. The real frightening part is the world is getting warmer. Chicago needs the Ides of March, it did Caesar no good but beware the 15th of March, the killing season begins.
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