Chicago Murder Rate Down in 2018 for Second Year in Row

Bowen Xiao
By Bowen Xiao
January 1, 2019US News
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Chicago Murder Rate Down in 2018 for Second Year in Row
Hundreds of police officers attend the funeral for the Chicago Police Officer Samuel Jimenez at the Chapel of St Joseph at Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on November 26, 2018 in Des Plaines, Illinois. Officer Samuel Jimenez was killed by a gunman at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on November 19. (Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)

Authorities in Chicago, Illinois said the murder rate declined in 2018, marking the second year in a row where fewer people were killed in the Windy City.

Chicago, sometimes described as the nation’s “murder capital” saw nearly 100 fewer murders in 2018 compared to 2017—a 15 percent drop, according to data from the Chicago Police Department’s end-of-year crime summary. Meanwhile, since 2016, murders as a result of a shooting have declined 31 percent in total.

This double-digit reduction was the greatest drop in homicides of any major American city, outpacing New York (0.37 percent drop), Los Angeles (9.2 percent drop) and Houston (6.64 percent drop), according to the data published on Dec. 31.

Shootings, in general, are down by 32 percent in the city since 2016. But Chicago, the third largest city in the United States still had more murders than the combined total in Los Angeles and New York, two cities which both have bigger populations.

Other crimes such as burglaries and motor vehicle thefts and carjackings all decreased in 2018, compared to 2017.

Combined Effort

The continued decline of violent crime in Chicago was credited to a number of different key themes as part of the department’s efforts in creating a safer Chicago. Community partnerships, investments in data-driven policing, and the creation of strategic decision support centers (SDSC) all helped reduce crimes.

The centers have been proven to aid officers in responding more quickly to incidents, leading to more arrests, according to the summary. The SDSC centers created technology-based nerve centers for detectives and have been rolled out to 20 out of the 22 police districts. The centers rely on mobile technology, crime cameras, and gunshot detection systems.

The manpower of the Chicago’s police department also improved significantly. The city achieved its goal of adding over 1000 new officers in just under two years.

In 2017 President Donald Trump ordered federal law enforcement to send dozens more prosecutors and agents to Chicago. Trump said the killings in the city reached “epidemic proportions” and said that he would be sending federal help to combat the violence.

Chicago, during 2018, saw also saw one of the highest levels of collaboration and partnership of local and federal law enforcement agencies including the FBI, ATF, DEA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to the summary.

Last year also had the highest number of federal gun prosecutions in recent history. In total, the department seized over 9,500 illegal guns, the highest number taken in five years.

More specifically, police officers took in nine percent more guns off the street in 2018 than 2017—about more than one illegal gun seized every hour of the year.

“Nearly 200 assault-style rifles were also recovered in 2018, including AK-47 and AR-15 rifles,” the summary said. “And while there is still work to be done, the reduction is believed to have contributed to the overall drop in shootings.”

In one joint investigation by the Chicago Police department with other local and federal agencies, they seized 445 grams of heroin, 230 grams of cocaine and $97,770 in illegal drug proceeds within the city’s Little Village neighborhood. U.S. Attorney John Lausch helped authorities with the federal charging of 20 individuals involved in the September 2018 case.

From The Epoch Times

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