Chicago murder rate improving? 14 murders in February 2013

March 1, 2013 2:19:04 PM PST
Chicago murder rates were cut in half for the month of February when compared to the same month in 2012.

"There is a lot of credit to go out. The fact is it is one month. That's progress, it is not victory in any way shape or form- but it is not failure," Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. Fourteen murders were recorded in February 2013, compared to 28 murders in February 2012. Supt. McCarthy isn't attributing the encouraging stats to any one thing.

"It has to do with our strategies, it has to do with our deployment it has to do with our over- time. It has to do with quality of life, enforcement. One of the things that I say constantly is the fact that it is not one thing we do it is everything we do," Supt. McCarthy said.

February's 14 murders were the fewest in Chicago for a month since 1957.

In recent months, Chicago has become the focus of the national gun violence debate. In the month of January, the city counted 43 murders; making it the bloodiest January in a decade.

In January, a visit from the president highlighted the issue after 15-year-old honor roll student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on the South Side. Her father says the numbers are promising, but he's not getting his hopes up.

Some experts believe that President Obama's visit to Chicago to address violence may have helped lower the murder rate significantly in February.

Having the president and first lady here talking about violence brought the issue to a higher level of discourse than there's ever been in the city," Loyola University Chicago Professor Arthur Lurigio said.