410 shot, 74 fatally in Chicago in July 2017, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police rolled out a number of new programs this year, all promising to help counter the growing gun violence. Despite those efforts, more people were shot and killed last month compared with July of last year.

While police highlighted the positives from the department's report on crime statistics for July 2017, the number of people who died went up.

There were 74 murders last month, compared to 65 in July 2016. The number of people killed so far in 2017 is higher than the same time period last year - and 2016 was the deadliest year for Chicago in 20 years.

Most of the murders were not spread across the city. The South and West sides bore the brunt of them. Chicago neighborhoods like Austin and Englewood seeing the largest number of murders.

CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson joined ABC7 Tuesday morning to talk about the new crime numbers.

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CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson joined ABC7 Tuesday morning to talk about the new crime numbers.

While Johnson said more work needs to be done to decrease the number of murders in Chicago, he's encouraged by a new, positive statistic.

"The lethality of the shootings, we really can't control that. But I'll tell you this. We have seen signs for encouragement because this is the fifth straight month of reduction in shootings. We haven't seen five consecutive months since 2013," Johnson said.

Last month there were a total of 410 shooting victims. That's 31 fewer than July of last year.

Police said shootings across the city are down by more than 13 percent compared to 2016.

The department said expanding its predictive policing strategy has helped reduce crime in Chicago's Englewood, Deering, Harrison and Austin neighborhoods.

"All of those districts that have that technology, have seen that over 20 percent reduction. But you still can't replace those boots on the ground and the work that the men and women are doing out there," Johnson said.

Police also said gun-related arrests are up by 32 percent. More than 5,300 guns have been seized so far this year.

"The thing that you can't measure is how many crimes we prevent because of those gun recoveries, but we know that we are doing it. So we just have to keep chipping away at it and we'll get there," Johnson said.
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