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Editorial: Community, police are in it together

Updated: July 28, 2011 2:14AM

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is right when he says: “It’s not the community vs. the police.”

It only seems that way at times.

Since Monday night, there have been three police-involved shootings. One of them involved a 13-year-old boy who police say pointed a BB-gun at them.

Since the start of the year, Chicago Police have shot at least 41 people — every one of them armed, McCarthy said. That’s more than in all of 2010, when 25 people were shot by cops.

But we see no evidence that the police are to blame. On the contrary, the best way for a community to reduce the chance of such shootings is to step up and cooperate with those who do a dangerous job to keep the rest of us safe.

At a Tuesday news conference, McCarthy said aggravated assaults and batteries against police have more than doubled in the last decade. He said parents must ensure their children observe the city’s curfew. He said police and residents should cooperate to get guns off the street.

He’s right.

The number of shootings by police this year, as detailed by Chicago Sun-Times reporter Frank Main, is disturbing. And we know there will always be cops who are too quick to pull the trigger.

But starting with former Supt. Jody Weis and continuing with McCarthy, Chicago Police have shown little tolerance for abusive cops. It’s time for Chicago’s citizens to improve their performance, too, by helping officers do their jobs. That means, among other things, coming forward after witnessing a crime.

In the never-ending struggle to keep crime at bay, the community and the police are on the same side.

It’s time everyone starting acting that way.

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