(NewsNation) — Concerned about crime in their neighborhoods, some Chicagoans are taking matters into their own hands and hiring private companies to protect them.
Last weekend in Chicago, 42 people were shot and eight died from their injuries.
Chicago Alderman Brian Hopkins said the city’s police department, which has 2,000 patrol officers, is contributing to the violence.
“We had unanswered 911 calls for up to two hours over the weekend,” Hopkins said. “We just didn’t have enough police to go around.”
Hopkins said after such a violent weekend, the city would review its plans to keep residents safe.
Some residents told NewsNation they no longer go out at night, while others said they were used to crime.
A company, called P4 Security Solutions, has confirmed that at least five neighborhoods on or near Chicago’s North Side have added their services or are planning to do so for the first time in the last six months.
Jeff Zisner, president and CEO of AEGIS Security and Investigations, said his business grew 50% over last year.
“Police patrols usually don’t have enough resources to focus on stopping crimes before they start,” he said. “We have calls in the queue and they are jumping from call to call; private security can focus heavily on a very specific neighborhood or a very specific client.
But involving the private sector is a strategy that has received mixed reviews from Chicago residents as well as city leaders.
“Basically, the responsibility under state law, under local law, to patrol our streets rests exclusively with the Chicago Police Department,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.