Thursday, May 10, 2018

Crain's: Our lawless downtown is threatening our city's economy

I suppose one way to look at this is some of the crime in the more violent neighborhoods of the city's south and west sides are beginning to bleed into the Loop or areas of downtown Chicago. As seen in this article gunfire at Water Tower Place, carjackings in the Gold Coast, a police commander shot to death near the Thompson Center.
That sense of security is under threat: The Loop saw a 14 percent rise in overall crime in the first quarter of this year compared to the last, with a 30 percent rise in violent crime driven largely by muggings, according to police data analyzed by And a series of recent incidents has revived old worries about crime in the city. A police commander shot to death amid weekday crowds in the Loop. Cars commandeered at gunpoint in the Gold Coast and other neighborhoods across Chicago and the suburbs. A 15-year-old boy hit by stray gunfire as he rode a city bus. Just last week, a federal law enforcement agent was shot in the face as he worked to combat gun violence in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Shots fired inside Water Tower Place on the Mag Mile.

All those events got national media attention, adding to a steady drumbeat of stories that raise questions about safety in Chicago. These questions trouble not only those of us who live here, but also those who might be considering a move to Chicago.

Most prominent among them is Amazon, which is vetting cities for a second headquarters that it says would bring tens of thousands of well-paid jobs to the winner. Chicago badly wants the prize, and by all rights should have a strong chance. The city has many of the attributes Amazon wants in a second headquarters—a deep talent pool, a world-class airport and an extensive public transit system, to name a few key selling points. But none of those advantages will matter if the e-tailing giant concludes its employees wouldn't be safe here.
If crime is going up in the Loop area then this is certainly a problem the city will solve. Hopefully these same resources could be used in many of Chicago's long suffering neighborhoods. What do you think?

h/t Newsalert!

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