Chicago murder rate declines 13% in 2019 from previous year, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are touting new numbers that show a significant drop in crime in 2019.

Speaking at a New Year's Eve press conference, interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck says the murder rate declined 13 percent in 2019 from the previous year, with 492 murders in 2019, down from 567 in 2018. CPD says murders are at their lowest rate since 2015.

Overall crime, which includes murders, robberies, burglaries, thefts, and motor vehicle thefts, fell 10 percent this year compared to 2018, also its lowest level since 2015. But it's the lower murder rate that Beck says is a very important statistic to build on.

"I think that when we talk about the reductions in homicides, at a 13 percent reduction as I stand here before you compared to last year, that's 74 less people that were killed in the city of Chicago," Beck said. "That's a significant impact, that's real people who are alive because the city of Chicago has done a better job of protecting its folks."

Beck credited Mayor Lori Lightfoot's all hands on deck violence reduction strategy led by CPD.

Beck also applauded CPD in taking 10,800 guns off the streets in 2019. That's more guns off the streets than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Violence struck quickly in the new year after a woman was shot on the West Side when a bullet came through her window.
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