2016 and 2017 were two of the deadliest and most violent years in recent Chicago history, but the city is starting to see a reversal of this trend.
According to the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics, the number of homicides and shootings are down for the twelfth straight month in a row compared to the previous year’s numbers.
In February of this year, there were 38 homicides with a total of 143 people shot. Compare that to February of 2017 in which 49 people were murdered and a total of 210 people were shot.
So far in 2017 there have been a total of 78 murders and 344 people shot.
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson still notes that these numbers are not “room to celebrate” but that they do “show encouraging signs,” as he said in an interview with ABC 7 Chicago.
In addition to the work being done in Chicago, Johnson has gone to Springfield to support a new bill that would ban the sale of body armor and high-capacity magazines. The bill would be named after fallen Police Commander Paul Bauer. It is currently a felony to be wearing body armor while committing a crime in Illinois.
“[This law] helps keep the city safe because it limits the amount of magazine [one can have]. The guy that killed Commander Bauer had a magazine that held thirty rounds and quite frankly, you don’t need a thirty round clip in the streets of Chicago.”
Johnson noted that there is a fair amount of violence in Chicago committed by these kinds of weapons.
He also commended Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods for their bans on selling assault-style weapons.
“The progress we have made over the last twelve months to reduce gun violence in Chicago could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our police officers who carried out our data driven, technology-led crime strategy,” said Johnson.
“Despite this progress, our work is not yet complete. We will continue to make CPD better for our officers and every resident, while fighting for common sense gun legislation in Springfield, in honor of Commander Paul Bauer, to make a safer Chicago.”
Deputy Chief Dwayne Betts noted that the department is continuing its efforts to add a thousand new police officers to the streets by the end of the year and extended the application people to March 12th.