Updated: September 14, 2013 6:22AM
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday that he’s broadening his law-enforcement assault on West Side drug dealers.
Since March, the department has concentrated on breaking up open-air drug markets in the Harrison District. Now, the initiative is expanding to the Austin District.
“The strategy is simple: Any time there is any sort of violence, we go in and do buy-and-busts and undercover work, then put in uniforms to make sure we prevent the reoccurrence of any violence,” McCarthy said.
“We’re trying to change the culture,” he said of West Side drug dealers. “If these guys are businessmen, they will realize the violence is bad for business.”
The West Side Narcotics Initiative began in March in the Harrison District with officers who were moved from administrative jobs to the street, police spokesman Adam Collins said. This year, murders in the district are down 40 percent, shootings are down 38 percent and overall crime is down 30 percent compared to the same period of 2012, he said.