Mayor Emanuel addresses Chicago's violence problem - Dallas News |

Mayor Emanuel addresses Chicago's violence problem

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with law enforcement and school officials Monday to talk about the city's violence problem.

At the anti-violence summit was the mayor, local and federal law enforcers, educators and clergy; including a minister whose opening benediction seemed to acknowledge public skepticism.

"Help us, O' God, to depart from this place not just having been to another meeting," said Reverend Albert Tyson.

The meeting lasted more than an hour behind closed doors. FOX 32 News asked the mayor afterwards what had been done to make next Friday, Saturday and Sunday less violent.

"In all due respect that's not a fair question. But I'm gonna take the question," said Mayor Emanuel. "I'm not gonna solve a four-decade old problem between now and next weekend. And, if that's the measure, I'm here to say -- Now, have we made progress? Mike, you've covered Chicago politics and news. You remember when we used to have a thousand homicides a week, a year rather."

Through Sunday, 225 had been killed this year, compared to 239 on the same date last year; and 291 in 2012.

Some were impressed by the high-ranking Federal presence at Monday's session, including U.S. Marshals, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency and ATF firearms agents.

"That's unheard of, across lines. ATF, DEA, all of them are coming together. Well, now they've got to come together with the communities," said Diane Latiker of Kids Off the Block.

Focusing on the longterm, Mayor Emanuel hailed President Obama's new grant of $10 million. It means 2,000 mostly African-American males at dozens of Chicago Public Schools will now join 2 path-breaking mentoring and intensive tutoring programs.

Focused on 9th grade algebra and other critical classes, they've raised by 50% the number of young men on track to graduate.

"I hope it was more than just a meeting. I feel that way. It was a very productive discussion," said Andrea Zopp, President & CEO of Chicago Urban League.

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