Homicides In Chicago have dropped by nearly 100 in 2018. According to Chicago Police reports 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. That compares to 660 homicides in 2017 and more than 770 in 2016, which marked a 19-year high that put a national spotlight on Chicago’s persistently high rates of gun violence.
Chicago police give credit of the decreases in homicides to the help of more than 1,000 new officers in recent years. Chicago AP News reports that Police also cite the creation of high-tech nerve centers in 20 out of 22 police districts, where officers rely on gunshot-detection technology and predictive analytics that help quickly get police to areas where violence is most likely to erupt.
Although Chicago is seeing better results than previous years the amount of homicides reported are still significant compared to other major cities like New York who reported 278 homicides and Los Angeles who reported 243.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview, “Are we where we want to be? Of course not, I do think we are taking steps in the right direction.” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has previously said “a reasonable goal” would be to one day get the annual number of homicides to below 300.
While most areas in Chicago have decreased in the number of homicides lat year, areas like Englewood and
Garfield Park have opposed the scale in higher numbers. Police say most of the killings in Chicago are tied to street gangs, with members fighting for control of territory or retaliating for perceived slights by gang rivals, which these days are typically communicated through social media.
The total number of shootings have fallen 14 percent in 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. The numbers are down by 32 percent since 2016, when there were more than 3,500. Through Dec. 31, 2018, there were 2,391 shootings in Chicago. In 2018 Police have seized more than 9,500 illegal guns, the most in five years, according to police statement on the data. Closer cooperation between local and federal law enforcement has also led to an increase in federal gun prosecutions in recent years, according to police.
Unfortunately, the drop in homicides were not enough to save parents from eperiencing the loss of a child like 12-year-old She’nyah O’Flynn of Covert, Michigan, who was spending time with her father in Chicago over the summer. Police said she likely wasn’t an intended victim when she was shot while getting out of a car in West Garfield Park.