Eddie Johnson

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

Police Say Gun Violence Declined From Last Year

October 02, 2018 - 7:34 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- City crime has fallen across the board compared to last year, marking a continuation in a steady month-by-month decline in violence since its recent peak in 2016, according to a report by the Chicago Police Department.

Year-to-date totals show a 20 percent drop in murders, a 28 percent drop in shooting victims, a 17 percent drop in shootings and a 9 percent drop in overall crime, which includes carjackings, robberies, burglaries, aggravated battery and theft, according to police.

Police Chief Eddie Johnson attributed the decline to community policing and the use of new technology.

“We are continuing to make progress in our fight to reduce crime fueled by a reinvigorated approach to community policing and a data-driven, proactive crime strategy that leverages technology and predictive analytics,” Johnson said in a statement. “But our work is not over by any stretch.”

Police said that, compared to the same time of year in 2017, there were:

  • 102 fewer murders;
  • 497 fewer shooting victims; and
  • 374 fewer shootings.

Police also said they recovered thousands of illegal guns on the streets. Since the beginning of this year 6,967 illegal guns were recovered, which amounts to about one weapon recovered every hour.

Part of the city’s crime reduction strategy bolster its investigations by partnering with federal agencies.  In September, Chicago police worked with DEA and FBI agents and arrested 20 people on drug and gun trafficking charges that stemmed from a drug operation in the city’s Little Village neighborhood.

The city also announced the launch of its “Smart911″ program, which aims to increase the effectiveness of emergency responders. The program allows citizens to create digital profiles of their health information for use by emergency responders, and for the ability to text 911 operators. The program fulfills a recommendation by the Police Accountability Task Force to improve the city’s response to mental and behavioral emergencies.

Although the data shows a downward trend in crime, the rise of certain crimes have gained the spotlight.

Earlier this year, a wave of carjackings across the city inspired Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take proactive measures. Some blamed the epidemic on weak laws that allowed offenders to avoid jail time.

The full data released by police is listed below.

Murders from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 by year:

  • 2016: 554
  • 2017: 520
  • 2018: 418

Shootings from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 by year

  • 2016: 2647
  • 2017: 2217
  • 2018: 1843

Shooting victims from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 by year:

  • 2016: 3240
  • 2017: 2796
  • 2018: 2299

Shootings by year with in the month of September:

  • 2016: 301
  • 2017: 257
  • 2018: 214

Shooting victims by year within the month of September:

  • 2016: 358
  • 2017: 328
  • 2018: 260

Murders by year within the month of September:

  • 2016: 63
  • 2017: 60
  • 2018: 42

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2018. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)