70 new Chicago detectives to focus on violent crime - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

70 new Chicago detectives to focus on violent crime

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Battling a wave of murders this year, Chicago Police are getting some reinforcements: 70 officers newly promoted to detective — with virtually all being assigned to investigate violent crimes.

"That's just a reflection of what's been going on in the city lately," said Area Central Detective Cmdr. Anthony Riccio. "We're concerned about the violence, obviously, and I think this will go a long way toward knocking it down."

It's the first time in five years a group of officers has been promoted to detective, police officials said.

All but three of the new detectives—who began work Sunday—will investigate murders and other violent crimes. Three will be assigned to handle property crimes.

The "lopsided allotment" of detectives, Riccio said, in part reflects that murders, shootings and other violent attacks typically require more time and manpower to solve.

Adding detectives, Riccio said, should help lead to more arrests and prosecutions for murders and shootings.

"More detectives is only going to enhance the process—it's going to be a better process and we're going to see more people going to jail," Riccio said.

Several of the new detectives said they're eager to begin their new assignments.

"There's definitely a need for new detectives and it's where I want to be, so I'm very excited about the new job," said Det. Kristi Battalini, a 14-year Chicago Police veteran now handling violent crimes.

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