Chicago experiences various aspects of violence

Sean Cherry, Staff Reporter

The city of Chicago is known for many things: sports, deep dish pizza, Chicago style hotdogs and violence. Just to start off the first quarter of the year, the percentages of killings have gone up about 70 percent. There have been almost 85 killings in the city. If somebody turns on the news in Chicago, they will see that there was a shooting or some type of crime happening every single day. The crime in the city of Chicago is no surprise to anyone, but there is a sense of urgency by the people to end it.

With crime and killings on the rise, there have been many organizations and individuals trying to help end all of the violence in Chicago. One organization for example is the ILDVDI (Illinois Domestic Violence Data and Information). They keep track of crimes happening in all parts of the city. They have data of individual crimes and Chicago-area victims. Local station ABC 7 and TV program Windy City Live have “Stop the Violence” resources where they have a whole page of links to organizations and shelters that are trying to help out families and children affected by the violence in the city. Another organization called BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development) Chicago is in the roughest neighborhoods of Chicago as they provide help with at-risk teens and families. They have helped over 90,000 families and students in strengthening communities and education. BUILD Chicago has so many opportunities in the city for young adults and families to just get away from all the violence and have fun, talk about their culture and try to prevent violence.

Families are affected every day in Chicago. One of the toughest calls to get is from a police officer or family member saying that something terrible has happened to a loved one.

Former Chicago Homicide detective and police officer Terry Thedford was on the force for decades and learned first hand. “I saw things that you couldn’t imagine and solved cases that were pretty crazy. We used to drive the streets of Chicago for hours and talk to the families. They knew that things were getting really bad in the city.”

The homicide rates were very high throughout the 1970s and 1980s when officer Thedford was on the force. “Everything is very different from those days. We did not have all the cameras and investigations on police officers.”

As the years have passed in the city more and more families have been affected by the shootings and robberies.

Chicago police officer Christopher Thedford has been working on the force since the 90s and has seen the drastic changes in the city. “From when my father was on the force to now, there has been many changes like cameras, body cams. Social media and dash cameras were like brand new. Now we are seeing more crimes and robberies in the city. You can even tell how some of the communities have changed, from being a quiet little town to being affected by violence.”

Another local organization is the Family Rescue which has been working to eliminate domestic violence in Chicago. They mostly help with abused women and children to promote future changes and prevention of violence.

Children are heavily affected by the violence in the city and freshman Jonathan Salinas knows about it pretty well. “When I lived in the city I remember that I could not even go outside and play because it got so bad. It really hurt me because I loved basketball, and I wanted to keep practicing but some days I was stuck inside.”

Salinas just moved here this past year, but he still plays on a travel team in Chicago and has a lot of his tournaments in the city. With the crime rate on a rise and the city’s police department on high alert the city look to help and protect the families of Chicago every day.