Gun violence in Chicago: More spending on youth programs won’t stop crime

Once again we have a new mayor in Chicago who thinks he has new solutions to curb violence and crime in our city. I’m sure the mayor has his heart in the right place and he’s hopeful that his ideas work as I hope they do too.

Some elected officials said that the crime and violence we face is because young people are bored. Give me a break.

The mayor wants to create more youth programs, thinking this will help solve some of the problems. We have already spent millions on youth programs. Let me ask: “How has that worked?” We just had one of the worst Memorial Day weekends in years.

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Let’s say we invest millions more in youth programs. The May 31 issue of the Sun-Times states that we have big problems with crime and violence between the hours of midnight and 4 am You’d think these would be the hours our young people should be fast asleep in their beds.

I’m sorry, Mr. Mayor, if you think more youth programs will solve crime and violence, you either don’t know the city or you’re in dreamland.

Dan Goodwin, Humboldt Park

$51 million better spent on other issues

Approximately 50 Chicago Public Schools have been closed in the last 10 years. As the Sun-Times reported late last year, less than 25% of CPS students met or exceeded expectations in English and math.

During the recent mayoral race, multiple polls showed that public safety was by far the top concern of Chicagoans. And the local economy is still suffering from the devastating effects of the pandemic and civil unrest.

While migrants need and deserve support, a legitimate case can be made that the $51 million dedicated to the immigration crisis could have gone a long way in addressing other issues.

Terry Takash, Western Springs

Bring back the police cadet program

Bravo to billionaire James Crown for his interest in helping to reduce the violence in Chicago. Children need opportunities and a vision for the future. Policemen can’t do the job alone. Almost every discussion involving the police and the community always seems to stop at the need for the police to gain the trust of the community. The attempts have made very little change.

What better way to make progress than to revive the Chicago Police Cadet Program? Instead of young people being observers, why not reinstitute a program that was once very successful in my observation? Dozens of those cadets had great careers within the CPD, no doubt changing many youth views and lives along the way.

Gangs are always looking for vulnerable youth to recruit into their world. Why not offer an alternative? Personally, I have never seen so many interested teens as when that show was in full swing.

I hope Mayor Johnson takes a look at the benefits a revitalized cadet program can offer.

Bob Angone, Retired Chicago Police Lieutenant, Austin, Texas