Can technology combat gun violence? Chicago police hope so

CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department has finished installing a technology-focused Strategic Decision Support Center in the Wentworth District on the South Side, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday.

There are now 13 such centers across the city; gunshot detection covers 100 squares miles of Chicago.

At each nerve center, district police officers strategize and make deployment decisions based on data from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, according to the mayor's office. Officers will coordinate with county, state and federal law enforcement on select investigations.

“As we head into the summer, it is a time to focus on the safety and security of our city,” Emanuel said. “We are not just adding more police and technology resources, but we are also adding more prevention resources. You cannot talk about one without the other.”

On Friday, 125 new police officers were deployed. Supt. Eddie Johnson has promised to add an extra 1,000 officers across the city.

By 2021, all officers will be required to take 40 hours of continued education classes annually, Johnson said.

On Friday morning, officers conducted raids across the city that will continue into the weekend.

Seventy-one people were arrested Friday, police said; 13 weapons and two vehicles were confiscated. One business was closed and more than $55,000 in cash was seized.

Officers from the Area South Gang Team also raided a child daycare facility in the 1000 block of West Marquette Road that was being used as a gun stash house. Four handguns and a large amount of ammunition were taken from the facility.

A woman is being questioned in connection with that raid.