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Billionaire donates $10 million toward fighting crime in Chicago
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is singing the praises of billionaire Ken Griffin, who just pledged $10 million to help fight crime in Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Billionaire donates $10 million toward fighting crime in Chicago

Hedge fund founder Ken Griffin — also acknowledged as the richest man in Illinois — has donated $10 million in an effort to reduce crime in Chicago.

While Griffin and Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel are on different sides of the political aisle, the donation was received with open arms. Emanuel told the Chicago Sun-Times, "We don't have the same party affiliation, but we have the same goals of public service."

Griffin is the largest contributor to Republican Gov.Bruce Rauner.

The generous contribution will be used to bolster a partnership between the Chicago Police Department and the University of Chicago Crime Lab.

"As a community, we are unified in our desire for Chicago to be a safer place to live and work," Griffin said. "No child, anywhere, should be afraid to walk to school or play outside. A safer Chicago attracts more families and better jobs and provides a better quality of life for all."

Emanuel said the funds would help reduce gun violence, saying, "We're now not waiting for the first shot, preventing that first shot. This is proactive policing. It's a total different approach."

Chicago Police Chief Superintendent Eddie Johnson echoed the mayor's praise, saying, "Hope, optimism, and the rebuilding that comes with it are replacing the sounds of sirens and gunshots."

The CPD says violent crime has recently declined thanks to "Strategic Decision Support Centers," which are part of the crime lab that will be bolstered from Griffin's donation.

Griffin has not been stingy in contributing to initiatives to the city in the past, either. He gave $125 million to the University of Chicago's economics department last year, and another $12 million to the city for bike and pedestrian paths in 2016.

Superintendent Johnson gave further credit to Griffin's intent in his donation.

"This isn't about politics. It's about public safety," Johnson said. "All of us recognize that, at the end of the day, we have a vested interest in making the city and state safer. [Griffin] has done his research to see what was working and what was integral in reducing gun violence in the city of Chicago."

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Breck Dumas

Breck Dumas

Breck is a former staff writer for Blaze News. Prior to that, Breck served as a U.S. Senate aide, business magazine editor and radio talent. She holds a degree in business management from Mizzou, and an MBA from William Woods University.