I don't know about crime statistics in Chicago, but instantly I noticed these hard-to-miss boxes attached to some of the telephone poles.
The blue lights on top of these boxes flashed so that citizens wouldn't miss them, the department actually dubbed them "Operation Disruption" in that they hoped it would deter crime. They are pretty hard to miss, the "Chicago Police" logo on the side, CPD trademark black and white checkered stripe. We knew what it was, it was somewhat annoying and obtrusive, and we could see them from blocks away. Basically they were screaming "you are entering a high crime area!" These little boxes have 360 degree surveillence, and gunshot detectors that can find the location of a gunshot within 20 feet. Many people like the surveillence boxes because they deter crime, and it is a constant presence. And they are even paid for with seized drug money -- kinda funny, drug dealers and drugies are actually paying for the police to watch them :)
Now the strange part. They are moving towards a second generation of police surveillence -- hidden cameras. These things are less obtrusive and in-your-face. Unless you know what to look for, you wouldn't even notice them, which won't "disrupt" much crime if people don't know they are cameras.The biggest question is when will the government start to move towards completely undetectable surveillence? I'm not a big conspiracy theorist, and I don't spend much time worrying about what the government is watching me do -- mainly because I'm not doing anything illegal -- but it reminds me of George Orwell's 1984.