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Chicago business executives meet with the prosecutor to seek answers on why repeat offenders seem easy to get back on the streets

CHICAGO (CBS) – Troubled Chicago business owners reach out directly to Cook County Attorney Kim Foxx for violent crime answers.

As Tara Molina of CBS 2 reported Tuesday night, the big question business owners are asking is why repeat offenders seem so easy to get back on the streets.

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Everyone worries about safety – that’s number one. But the point the business owners wanted to make known to the prosecutor is that the way criminals are handled here ultimately affects the entire city and its bottom line.

Members of the city’s business community say flashlights, police tape, and cordoned off crime scenes are too common in Chicago’s 77 community areas and 22 police districts.

“We want to be the voice for every neighborhood,” said Sam Sanchez, chairman of the board of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

But it’s not just the rise in crime that worries business leaders as they convened a meeting with Prosecutor Kim Foxx. That’s what happens when the Chicago police patrol cars leave and the tape shuts down – especially when it comes to repeat offenders …

“Whether it’s gun violence, shoplifting, car theft – and why it takes so long to leave someone free,” said Maureen Martino, executive director of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce. “Otherwise the crime has no consequences.”

Martino said there will be consequences if nothing changes.

“People won’t want to invest,” she said. “Of course retailers are moving out – and we have to think about what we can do to keep our neighborhoods alive.”

These are some of the same concerns Jaime di Paulo, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, shared with us and the prosecutor.

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“We have to close earlier. We have to use more cameras, ”said di Paulo. “And frankly, criminals aren’t afraid of anything. More cameras? They do not care.”

Your worries are reflected in the numbers. We got the latest crime statistics, and they show that the homicide rate has been highest in the entire city since 2017.

So far, this year alone, there have been 4,032 people shot dead in the city. We traced the numbers back to 2010 – it’s the highest we’ve ever seen.

But when it comes to change, business officials said the prosecutor addressed a stronger partnership with CPD as a solution to the repeat offender problem.

“If our prosecutor embeds her office in the police force with the police commanders and they can identify the criminal and repeat offender, then they know who is a danger to society and can keep them off the street,” said Sanchez. “That is the goal.”

But the prosecution did not raise this issue with us, despite our questions. The Office only made this statement:

“The Cook County Attorney had a productive meeting with business executives today to discuss ways to prevent crime and improve the image of Chicago and Cook Counties. We hope to continue to meet regularly. Our common goal is to present Chicago as the world-class city it is. “

The public prosecutor’s office also shared indictment dates on crime cases by October 31 that year. The bureau said of 8,584 crime cases, 7,383 had been cleared for indictment – with an approval rate of 86 percent. A total of 11,510 cases were prosecuted and 6,926 convicted – a rate of 60 percent.

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The Chicago Loop Alliance also issued a statement explaining why the meeting with the prosecutor was particularly necessary with regard to the downtown area:

“The Chicago Loop Alliance is always trying to better understand the challenges and opportunities faced by the offices and departments responsible for keeping the city safe. We meet with the prosecutor regularly to learn and collaborate, much like we do with our contacts in the mayor’s office, the Chicago Police Department, etc. The Loop is an important economic factor for the region and we look forward to continuing to work together – as always – to keep it lively and inviting. “

The prosecution found that the following business leaders attended the meeting:

• Sam Toia, President and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association
• Sam Sanchez, chairman of the board, Illinois Restaurant Association
• Rob Karr, President and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association
• Michael Jacobson, President & CEO, Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association
• Gus Drosos, board member, Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association
• Brad Tietz, Vice President of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
• Michael Edwards, President and CEO, Chicago Loop Alliance
• Ian Tobin, Director of Planning & Advocacy, The Magnificent Mile Association
• Rich Gamble, chairman of the board, The Magnificent Mile Association
• Maureen Martino, Executive Director, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce
• Jasper Robinson, Vice President, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce
• Jaime di Paulo, President and CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Craig Chico, President and CEO, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council
• Dan Arce, chairman of the board of the Little Village Community Foundation

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