Chicago shootings at 4-year low in 2019, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police have released new crime numbers showing a dramatic drop in gun violence over the first half of 2019, showing shootings at a four-year low.

Police said murders were down seven percent, from 257 in the first six months of 2018 to 236 in 2019. Shootings were down 11 percent, from 1,099 shootings in the first six months of 2018. to 978 shootings in 2019.

Shootings are at their lowest rate in four years and murders are at their lowest rate since 2016, police said. Robberies were down 21 percent and burglaries were down 18 percent as well, police said.

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Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks on crime stats for the first half of 2019.

Meanwhile, CPD is reporting that its officers have taken more than 5,200 guns off the street since January.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attributed the reductions to an all-hands-on-deck approach to public safety, but over the busy summer weekend, the city still saw dozens of shootings. At least 56 people were shot, four of whom were killed.

Superintendent Johnson said the new numbers are no cause for celebration, but there is a trend in a better direction.

"Although we're making progress, we still need to do much more to create a culture of accountability for gun offenders," he said.

Johnson said while he supports the bail bond system, raising amounts for gun offenders would help bring those numbers down even lower.

"A hundred dollars is obviously not enough, but I would say if we're getting into the thousands, four or five thousand dollars for them to have to come up with every time they get caught, they'd think twice, because i know I don't have $4,000 in my pocket."

Monday morning, CPD announcing a new initiative to prevent crime even more called "Gun Stat." It means police, prosecutors, the mayor's office, parole and probation will start monitoring and analyzing the cases of some of the city's worst gun offenders.

"So we'll monitor that individual from beginning to end to see what consequence and how effective that consequence is for that particular individual," Superintendent Johnson said.

CPD said it's also trying to raise funding for technology to help them solve more crimes, specifically the technology that gives detectives quick access to video and cell phones.
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