Is Chicago an Actual Warzone?

Courtesy of Adam Courtemanche (Flickr CC0)

Chicago Crime and Violence Statistics

Chicago has always been known for violence and crime in particular parts of the city. It is more than twice as likely for a crime to happen to someone in Chicago than in any other town in Illinois. Illinois is also ranked very low in the safety rankings, only being safer than 9% of the other states in the whole country. One of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago for this is West Garfield Park.

It’s known as the most dangerous neighborhood in Illinois, because of the high rates of danger reported in this area. Residents of West Garfield Park have a 257% higher chance of being robbed than anywhere else in the city. This is a very gang-affiliated area, leading to one in every 20 residents being involved in a violent crime.

The West Side of Chicago has been problematic for decades, and it doesn’t seem like it is getting any better. Media outlets for Chicago released news not even two weeks ago that shocked the world. The post stated that violence in some Chicago neighborhoods puts people at a greater risk than U.S. troops faced with Iraq.

The risk of a man, between the ages of 18 to 29 years old, dying in a shooting here is higher than the death rate of the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. The statistic applied explicitly to the 60624 zip code. This is the West Side of Chicago, which also includes Garfield Park. This is no joke; it was safer to be in an actual war zone than in this part of Chicago.

What Can Be Done to Make a Change?

Courtesy of [puamelia]- Flickr CC0
This information has sparked outrage from the community. They have complained about the lack of leadership and change they had long yearned for. The media has no problem discussing the outcome, but they don’t discuss the cause.

This side of Chicago is known to be filled with poverty and a lack of two parent households. The blatant segregation is on display, with more than 93% of citizens who live in this zip code being Black.

There is a serious lack of financial support in this area, with over 50% of households bringing in less than $25,000 a year. The structure here makes it so dangerous, because the lack of resources can lead individuals down a dark path. This needs to change for this community to become a safer, more orderly place to live.

Building Strong Children

Starting like off on the right foot can be essential to building a bright future. One of Frederick Douglass’ most famous quotes was, “It is easier to build strong children than fix broken men.” This means that the focus should be shifted toward the youth and ensuring they are cared for and provided for. If kids are raised the right way, then violence will stop.

Children won’t feel like going to the streets is their only option. The youth must always know that they can live as they please and that their community should not influence their decisions. This means creating more parks, community service events, sports activities, or anything to keep the kids off the streets. Once these things are done, it will lead to the improvement of the West Side of Chicago.

What Does Change Look Like?

What changes need to be made to bring crime and violence rates down on the West Side of Chicago? One resident feels that one way would be, “investments in the community, such as providing incentives to bring businesses to the West Side of Chicago.”

They added, “There are blocks and blocks of abandoned buildings and desolate areas. This will create jobs for people. Increase mental health programs as there are a lot of kids and adults who are dealing with loss, abandonment, and other issues that may contribute to crime when not addressed.”

If the city continues to watch and accept news like this, there will be no change, and this cycle of violence and crime will continue. Make a change or deal with the consequences.

Written by Willie Hurt


Chicago Sun-Times: As Violent crime soars in Chicago, ‘safety gap’ among neighborhoods widens

Interview: Anonymous West Side Resident on Feb. 19, 2023

Property Club: Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Adam Courtemanche Page- Flickr Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of [puamelia] Page- Flickr Creative Commons License


Send Us A Message