(NewsNation) — Concerned about crime in their neighborhoods, some Chicago residents are taking matters into their own hands and hiring private companies to protect them.
This past weekend in Chicago, 42 people were shot and eight died from their injuries.
Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins said the city’s police department being down 2,000 patrolmen is contributing to this violence.
“We had 911 calls not being responded to for up to two hours over the weekend,” Hopkins said. “We simply didn’t have enough police to go around.”
Hopkins said after such a violent weekend, the city will be reviewing its plans for keeping residents safe.
Some residents told NewsNation that they don’t go out anymore at night, while others said they’re used to the crime.
One business, called P4 Security Solutions, confirmed that at least five neighborhoods in or adjacent to Chicago’s North Side have added their services, or are planning to, for the first time in the past six months.
Jeff Zisner, president and CEO of AEGIS Security and Investigations, said his business is up 50% over last year.
“Police patrols generally don’t have enough resources to focus on stopping crimes before they start,” he said. “We have calls in the queue and they’re going from call to call to call; private security can focus heavily on a very specific neighborhood or a very specific customer.”
But private-sector involvement is a strategy that has mixed reviews from residents in Chicago as well as city leaders.
“Fundamentally, the responsibility under state law, under local law for patrolling our streets lies exclusively with the Chicago police department,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.