Chicago sees a significant decrease in killings and shootings
Chicago is turning around its reputation as a city with mounting gun violence.
In March, the city logged its 13th straight month of reduction in gun violence, CNN reported, citing the Chicago Police Department.
Shootings dropped by 17 percent, and murders were down by 25 percent when compared to March 2017, according to the news organization.
Year-to-date figures showed similarly dramatic drops. In 2018, murders so far are down by 22 percent, and shootings are down 25 percent compared to the year before, according to CNN.
While pleased by the numbers Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed cautious optimism.
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“We are making progress and certainly, it’s not cause for celebration,” Johnson said. “But when you look at it, you do have to acknowledge progress.”
The police agency said the improved numbers are the result of hiring more officers, more energetic community policing and investments in new technologies, such as gunshot detection systems and predictive crime softwater, CNN reported.
Johnson plans to increase patrols adding 86 new officers dispatched in March to the 720 police officers already on the force in Chicago. He also wants to restore community partnerships to help reduce crime.
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint,” Johnson told the news organization. “As long as we keep trending the way we are and we keep developing these relationships and partnerships and continue to invest in our police department, then we’ll see the gains that we’re looking for.”
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In 2016, Chicago logged its deadliest year ever with 771 recorded murders. That number dipped to 650 last year. In the past, Chicago has seen 500 homicides in nine months. And yet, Chicago is not grouped in the homicide capitals of the country. That unfortunate title belongs to New Orleans, St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore and Newark, all of which have higher rates per capita.