In the city’s most violent districts, police officers say, they may be assigned half a dozen jobs or more—covering everything from traffic accidents to assaults—at the start of a shift. Their watches are spent racing from call to call, while anything that requires investigation stacks up. Officers describe having to weigh whether to make an arrest. The process “downs” their car, taking it off patrol for a few hours or so, which leaves their beat uncovered and puts more pressure on their fellow officers.
Sometimes, they say, when it comes to minor offenses, they just look the other way.
This is from a fairly long piece about Garry McCarthy but it’s this paragraph that struck me.
In Chicago No Report = No Crime. You have beat cops who are overworked / overloaded they and cannot focus on the little things. So what happens? They let some of the little things go because they have more important — higher priority — calls already waiting for them. When this happens the little things don’t get reported. It’s like the crimes never even happened.
Of course Compstat is at the center of this. It gives the Mayor and McCarthy the plausible ability to say things like, “Well overall crime is down.”