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Chicago Police shifts cops from desks to streets amid spike in murders

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

CHICAGO Facing one of its deadliest Januarys in a decade, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Thursday that 200 officers currently on desk duty will be put on the streets, CBS Chicago station WBBM-TV reports.

The officers will be redeployed to area headquarters with high incidents of gang violence and gun crimes. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and McCarthy made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday.

Civilians will take over the desk duties currently done by police officers.

The department will immediately move 60 officers. The officers will join so-called area saturation teams, which flood a neighborhood after violent crime.

More officers will begin to be transferred in February, and all 200 will be moved from department headquarters and district offices into patrol positions by March 31.

"This organizational change will result in more effective policing and the goal of reducing violence from gangs and guns," McCarthy said.

As of Tuesday, Chicago had recorded at least 42 homicides for the month of January, making it the deadliest January for murders since 2002.

The homicides include the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old girl, who was an honor student and recently performed with her school's marching band at President Obama's inaugural.


In Chicago, gun violence is taking more and more lives: at least 50 since the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports.

Among the seven people murdered in Chicago this past weekend was 33-year-old Ronnie Chambers, shot dead in a parked van.

He was the last surviving child of Shirley Chambers, who now has lost all four of her children to gun violence. CBS News spoke to her Monday at a local funeral home.

"It's not Chicago," said Chambers. "It's these people. It's these people with these guns. They shouldn't have guns, you know?"

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