CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Police Department has released new numbers pointing to fewer murders and shootings last month compared to the previous year.
The traditional summer kickoff has historically been a problematic one in Chicago and this one was no exception. At least 33 people were shot, four of them fatally, since Friday night.
The latest murder took place Monday night, when a 40-year-old man was shot and killed while driving his car on the 700-block of North Spaulding in East Garfield Park.
And yet, according to CPD, this has been Chicago's least violent Memorial Day weekend in years.
"This approach really is a great launch for the rest of the summer. We have a lot of work to do," said Supt. David Brown. "No one is celebrating anything. Four people lost their lives over the weekend."
Despite an increase in the overall number of shootings, in new numbers just released for the entire month of May, CPD reports decreases in both the number of shooting victims and murders when compared to that same month last year. Here are the numbers:
-In May 2021 there were 65 murders in Chicago. That is compared to last year when there were 84.
-In May of 2021 392 people were victims of gun violence in the city. That is compared to 398 last year.
Superintendent Brown largely credited the work, not just of police, but of violence interrupters in the community groups that were hampered last year because of the pandemic.
"They really have stepped into the gap, particularly regarding some of our neighborhoods that are increasingly more violent than others," Brown said. "They are there till 2, 3'oclock in the morning intervening in ways that Chicago Police officers can't."
Vaughn Bryant with Metropolitan Family Services said their approach is about providing residents in more violent areas help and opportunities.
"It's not enough to stop the shootings and killings, we have to give alternatives for people to move forward," Bryant said.
Jamal Cole with My Block, My Hood, My City said as much as groups like his help stem the tide of violence, success also rides on officers' knowledge of the areas they police.
"We definitely need police officers to be more engaged in communities," Cole said. "We need, you know, we need the proper training for police officers, and we need them to be active participants in the neighborhood as a police."
The superintendent also crediting the increasing use of data to determine exactly when and where the need for police resources is highest.
"We're hyper focused on the parts of the city the parts of the city have the highest violence and once we have success there we try to scale that success, increase capacity while officer at the same time balancing officer wellness," Brown said.
WATCH: My Block My Hood My City founder discusses Chicago violence
To stem the tide, in recent months CPD has canceled days off and had officers working 12-hour shifts with officers pulled from different districts to patrol the central business district.
Brown recognized that continually cancelling days off and having 12 hours shifts for officers is not sustainable, saying CPD is working on a more targeted approach, giving officers sufficient notice of changes
The department's anti-looting task force is also winding down. The task force was created last August to identify those involved in criminal acts during last summer's unrest.