Billionaire Ken Griffin takes on Chicago crime with $10 million donation


Chicago’s 5 main sports activities groups pledged a complete of $1 million late final 12 months to bankroll violence prevention packages within the metropolis.

Now Chicago billionaire Ken Griffin — listed as Illinois’ richest man — is elevating the ante.

Griffin is donating $10 million towards town’s efforts to cut back gun violence, the mayor’s workplace introduced Tuesday.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel acknowledged he and Griffin are on reverse ends of the political spectrum. Griffin is Gov. Bruce Rauner’s largest contributor and on Monday, Emanuel blasted the Republican governor for vetoing a gun retailer licensing invoice that was pushed by the mayor.

However Emanuel stated he and Griffin see eye-to-eye on the necessity to enhance Chicago. The mayor stated the conservative Griffin even supported him in his first profitable bid for Congress again in 2002.

“We don’t have the identical occasion affiliation,” Emanuel stated in an interview with the Chicago Solar-Instances, “however we now have the identical targets of public service.”

Griffin stated he hopes his donation will encourage different civic leaders to hitch the efforts “to make our metropolis safer.”

“As a group, we’re unified in our want for Chicago to be a safer place to reside and work. No little one, wherever, needs to be afraid to stroll to highschool or play outdoors,” Griffin stated in an announcement. “A safer Chicago attracts extra households and higher jobs, and offers a greater high quality of life for all.”

Griffin, founder and CEO of the Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel, is already often known as a serious Chicago benefactor.

Final 12 months, he donated $125 million for scholarships and analysis within the College of Chicago’s economics division. In 2016, he gave town $12 million to finish two bike and pedestrian paths on the 18-mile lakefront path and one other $three million to construct soccer fields throughout Chicago.

The Englewood District’s strategic determination assist heart. | File picture

Griffin’s newest donation will largely assist a partnership of the Chicago Police Division and College of Chicago Crime Lab. In early 2017, they opened Strategic Resolution Assist Facilities in high-crime police districts.

The assist facilities, which value about $1.5 million every, are rooms inside police stations. Officers and U. of C. analysts crunch gunshot knowledge to find out the place to greatest deploy cops. Data from gunshot detectors and surveillance cameras is displayed on massive screens. Officers have real-time entry to the data through cellphone and in-car computer systems, alerting them to the spot the place a taking pictures occurred.

The police division partly credit a latest decline in gun violence throughout town to the assist facilities. By way of March, homicides have been down 17 % and the variety of taking pictures victims decreased 30 % in contrast with the identical interval of 2017.

The assist facilities have been piloted within the Englewood and Harrison districts in February 2017. 13 of town’s 22 police districts may have them by the top of the 12 months, officers say.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson. | File picture

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson says the facilities have lowered officers’ response instances to shootings by greater than 5 minutes.

Within the late 1980s, when he was a patrol officer, Johnson says he would get a name about pictures being fired, however monitoring down the shooter was very troublesome. But within the first half-hour of the Englewood assist heart opening in 2017, analysts pinpointed the place pictures have been fired and officers have been capable of arrest a shooter, he stated.

“We’ve got been dwelling hand-to-mouth to maintain this going,” stated Roseanna Ander, government director of the 10-year-old U. of C. crime lab, which has been concerned in all the pieces from serving to police launch a West Aspect drug-diversion program to supporting a nationally acknowledged mentoring program referred to as Turning into a Man. “I’m very enthusiastic about this.”

She stated the assist facilities have already been increasing their footprints in some districts by exploring new responses to home violence and dealing on methods for officers to have interaction positively with residents.

The $10 million grant will underwrite the collaboration of the police division and the U. of C. Crime Lab by 2019. Among the cash will go into an “innovation fund.”

The cash additionally will assist enhance companies for officers, together with coaching, stress administration and psychological well being therapy, the mayor stated.

“I’m excited in regards to the early intervention expertise to determine traits with officers and get them the assistance they want,” Emanuel stated.

He stated that can go towards satisfying suggestions from the U.S. Justice Division after a report final 12 months discovered Chicago Cops have been participating in a sample of civil-rights violations.

When Chicago’s homicides spiked in 2016, non-public donations streamed into social service companies with anti-crime packages, however direct philanthropic assist of the police division is uncommon.

“The extraordinary new funding by Ken Griffin helps fill in an essential piece of the general technique,” Ander stated.

Griffin, a Republican, gave greater than $33.6 million to Illinois campaigns within the final two years, with roughly two-thirds of it going to Rauner, based on a Solar-Instances evaluation.

“This isn’t about politics, it’s about public security,” Johnson stated. “All of us acknowledge that on the finish of the day we now have a vested curiosity in making town and state safer. “[Griffin] has executed his analysis to see what was working and what was integral in decreasing gun violence within the metropolis of Chicago.”

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