Just in time to bring in a little New Year cheer, the Chicago Police Department announced that the murder rate in the city declined 13 percent in 2019 from the prior year.
Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck announced Wednesday that the number of murders decreased from 567 in 2018 to 492 in 2019, giving the city its lowest homicide rates since 2015, ABC Chicago reported.
2019 marked “the third consecutive year of double-digit decreases,” according to The Chicago Tribune.
The number of shooting incidents reportedly fell, too. “Shooting incidents fell to 2,151 last year, a 9.7% drop from 2,381 in 2018,” the Tribune reported.
Chicago police and the city’s leaders cite many reasons for the decline. “Major citywide antiviolence programming that offers jobs, gang conflict mediation and victim support” are a few strategies credited.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she believes continuing a multi-thronged approach will yield even more results. “By investing in our South and West side neighborhoods and addressing the root causes of gun violence, we can build on this progress in 2020 and continue making meaningful gains in public safety in communities throughout the city,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Additionally, police officials said they added approximately 300 detectives to the department and have used departmental technology centers to anticipate where shootings might occur and prepare a quicker response to them. The mayor told the Tribune that the CPD’s use of the technology is “a game changer.”
The recently impeached president has perpetually used Chicago’s high murder rates as a representation of all that is wrong with our country. He rode into his presidency taking shots (pun intended) at the city and our forever president every chance he got. Although the last time the city saw numbers this low was in 2015—when Obama still swagged in the Oval Office—jersey number 45 of the worst team to ever play the presidential game will undoubtedly find a way to take credit for the crime drop.
The true credit, however, belongs to the community leaders, city officials and good cops who work tirelessly to make the city safer.
“Make no mistake,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said, “Our work will not end until Chicago is the safest big city in the country.”