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CPD conducts West Side raids to curb Labor Day weekend violence

First Deputy Supt. John Escalante at a news conference Saturday | Daniel Brown/Sun-Times

To try to curb violence over Labor Day weekend, Chicago Police have arrested 77 people and recovered 11 guns and more than $65,000 worth of illegal drugs on the West Side, police said Saturday night at a news conference.

Of those 77 arrested Thursday and Friday, 63 were listed on the department’s Strategic Subject List, a way to measure “the propensity to be a victim or offender in violence,” First Deputy Supt. John Escalante said.

What’s more, 57 of those arrested were convicted felons, 45 were documented gang members, 10 were on parole and 17 had prior weapons offenses. Police said nine of the people arrested were deemed nonviolent drug offenders and placed in their diversion program, which is designed to give them addiction counseling and divert them from jail.

Nobody was charged with violent offenses, but “a lot of the violence in the 11th district does center around narcotics,” Escalante said. More than 100 grams of heroin, 75 grams of cocaine and more than 1,200 grams of cannabis and 78 grams of other drugs made up the $65,000 worth of narcotics recovered.

“We’re doing everything we can to make this as safe a weekend as possible as well as a safe first week of school,” Escalante said, three days before Chicago Public Schools open.

“This first couple weeks of school is really going to be all hands on deck,” he said. “We will have as many numbers of Chicago Police Department out in the field . . . everyone is going to be out and be very visible.”