Chicago homicide numbers increase, but number of shooting victims is down, police say

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May 1, 2014 7:13:54 AM PDT
Chicago police said 95 people were murdered in the first four months of 2014, two more than in the same time period in 2013. There were also fewer shooting incidents and victims.

Chicago police are using every tool in the department's arsenal - especially as it relates to targeting areas where crime is highest - and they are having some success. Overall crime incidents were down 20 percent from January 1 to April 30 in 2014, according to police.

In the first four months of 2014, there were 453 shooting incidents in the city, compared to 465 in 2013 and 653 in 2012. That's a 3 percent decrease in one year and a 31 percent decrease in two years.

There were 565 shooting victims in Chicago in the first four months of this year, compared to 569 in 2013 and 775 in 2012. The number of shooting victims went down 1 percent in one year and down 27 percent in two years.

Ninety-five people were murdered in the city of Chicago in the first four months of 2014. In 2013, 93 people were shot and killed. In 2012, 154 people were fatally shot. The Chicago homicide rate went up 2 percent in one year, but dropped 38 percent over the course of two years.

Police released the new numbers overnight. One person was fatally shot and at least ten other people were wounded in separate Chicago shootings since Wednesday afternoon. More than 30 people have been shot on each of the last three consecutive weekends, and several people were killed.

Chicago police have made progress with the department's Operation Impact initiative launched last year, which sends several hundred additional officers into 20 high-crime areas in the summertime.

Another several hundred officers will join their colleagues this year, while partnering with several city agencies to ensure public safety is strengthened in certain city parks, Chicago Housing Authority developments and on the CTA.

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement that new efforts will also include building relationships with community leaders to dampen gang conflicts and reduce violence in the city.

But he said current gun laws are making the department's job more difficult.

"Yet even with the best policing and strongest prevention efforts in the world, without reasonable laws to help keep illegal guns out of our communities we're going to face an uphill battle," McCarthy said.

Chicago police said in a statement they recovered nearly 1,900 illegal guns in the first four months of 2014.

The Chicago Police Department is undergoing some scrutiny about how it measures crime statistics, especially since 2012, when the city had more than 500 homicides. Recent investigations by the inspector general and Chicago Magazine indicate it is possible the crime statistics are actually higher than the department is letting on.

Several city aldermen are calling for hearings with Chicago police to ask questions about the accuracy of those statistics.


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