CHICAGO, June 12 (UPI) -- Chicago police officers will be paid overtime to spend their days off on street patrol and other anti-violence measures, the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.
The news followed a violent weekend in which there were 53 shootings that left nine people dead. Police have reported 223 killings in 2012 through Sunday, up 36 percent from the same period in 2011, and 967 shootings, an increase of 11 percent.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Tuesday in a breakfast speech to the Union League that homicides have dropped recently. He said "gang audits," in which police gang units share information with police on street patrol, are responsible for the decline.
"Would anybody believe me if I told you that murders in the city were down 17 percent in the last month? Probably not, right?" McCarthy asked. "Would anybody believe me if I told you that shootings are down in the last two months, 10 weeks? Would anybody believe if I told you that we had less shootings on Memorial Day this year than we did last year? Probably not."
The Tribune said it had obtained an internal memo from First Deputy Superintendent Alfonza Wysinger authorizing the overtime. The memo did not say how long the overtime would last or if all police officers would be able to take advantage of it.