(NewsGlobal.com)- In response to claims that police were instructed not to pursue a group of armed robbers, a Chicago alderman referred to public safety in his city as “a joke” on Monday.
On Friday morning in the city’s Wicker Park neighborhood, a group of guys has captured on surveillance video robbing another man while holding him at gunpoint. A Chicago Police Department (CPD) supervisor told officers to stop the chase when they were pursuing the getaway car, according to CWB Chicago.
“Chicago’s public safety is a farce. Why bother calling the police?” asked Democratic Alderman George Cardenas of the city’s 12th Ward.
Officers would no longer be permitted to follow suspects on foot, the CPD announced in June.
According to Chicago police, between September 5 and September 11, the city reported 194 robberies, 45 criminal sexual assaults, and 14 murders. Criminal complaints as of this point in the year are up 38% over this time last year.
The Wall Street Journal reported in April that several wealthy communities in Chicago’s North Side are turning to hire private police as crime rates rise. According to Paul Ohm, executive vice president of the private security company P4 Security Solutions LLC, the police officers his business hires while not on duty carry pistols but are not assigned to make arrests. They are instructed to contact 911 in cases of emergencies instead and are intended to serve as a deterrent, according to Ohm.
Chris Kempczinski, the CEO of McDonald’s, is highly concerned about the rising crime in Chicago, where the fast food behemoth is headquartered. He claims it is affecting the company’s outlets and making it more difficult to find corporate talent.
During a Wednesday speech at the Economic Club of Chicago, Kempczinski declared that crime is “seeping into every nook of our city.”
He said he’d asked the same question everywhere he goes – What’s happening in Chicago?
“There is a broad perception that our city is in trouble, which may hurt our feeling of civic pride to hear,” he said.
Similar issues have also been reported at some of Starbucks’ (SBUX) locations.
The coffee chain stated during the summer that it would close 16 shops in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, due to safety concerns.
A Starbucks representative said, “After careful deliberation, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of problematic occurrences that make it unsafe to continue to operate.”
Starbucks executives agreed with Kempczinski that the city is dangerous.