2017 Chicago homicides drop from 771 to 650, still exceeding homicides in NYC and LA combined

In this Aug. 20, 2017, file photo, a police detective walks past the body of a man fatally shot in the parking lot of an event center in Chicago. Several others were shot and transported to area hospitals. Chicago ended 2017 with fewer homicides than the year before but raging gang wars in the city's most violent neighborhoods drove the total beyond the 600 mark for just the second time in well over a decade. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune via AP, File)

By DON BABWIN,  Associated Press  CHICAGO (AP) 01/01 — Chicago ended 2017 with fewer homicides than the year before, but gang violence in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods kept the total number of killings above the 600 mark for only the second time in more than a decade.

The Chicago Police Department released statistics Monday that show the number of homicides fell from 771 in 2016 to 650 last year. The number of shootings dropped from 3,550 to 2,785 during the same period.

Although the drops were significant, the homicide total in a repeat of 2016 eclipsed the number of killings in New York City and Los Angeles combined.

“You still have to start with the fact that 600 people dead in Chicago is a hell of a lot of people to be dead in one year,” said the Rev. Marshall Hatch, whose church is in one of the most violent neighborhoods on the city’s West Side.

Still, the drops — and the reasons behind the lower numbers — have police and others optimistic that some of their efforts will lead to more declines over the next year. Chief among those efforts will be the expansion of the high-tech strategies and equipment to fight crime, including devices that pinpoint where gunshots are fired.

“I am proud of the progress our officers made in reducing gun violence all across the city in 2017,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement. “In 2018, we are going to work to build on the progress we made last year — to reduce gun violence to save lives and to find justice for victims.”

Police have been particularly encouraged by the results of setting up Strategic Decision Support Centers in six of the city’s 22 police districts, including those in the most violent pockets of the city. The centers are equipped with sound-detection technology that enables the department to instantly know where the sound of gunfire is coming from and to alert officers through computer screens in their squad cars and smartphones.

One of the first districts where a center was set up was in Englewood, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side that has long been known as one of the city’s most violent.

Englewood had seen 48 homicides as of late December, compared to 86 during the same period in 2016. Police hope the trend continues in the neighborhood. They plan to roll out centers in six more police districts this year.

“It does seem like the timing of when we see Englewood turn the corner was in February just as the Strategic Decision Support Center was opened,” said Max Kapustin, research director at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab.

Johnson said, “It’s no coincidence that Englewood is leading the city on shooting reductions.”

There were reminders in 2017, though, that gang violence continues to rage in the city and take lives no matter what strategies police try to implement. In one suspected gang shooting in February, a 2-year-old boy was killed on the West Side while riding in a car with his uncle. Police believe the 26-year-old uncle, a gang member, was the intended target.

To crack down on gang members, Johnson said prosecutors and police will step up use of the state’s anti-racketeering law “to hold leaders of these gangs more accountable.” Cook County prosecutors first tested the Street Gang RICO Act in a trial that ended last month with the conviction of half a dozen leaders of a West Side street gang.

The department is also bringing on more officers, and they will be dispatched to some of the city’s most violent areas. As part of a two-year hiring plan, Chicago added more than 1,100 officers in 2017 and Johnson expects the department’s total number of sworn officers to increase in 2018 — from the current 12,575 to 14,400.

“With more foot officers out there we are better able to get ahead of crime and know where there are going to be conflicts,” said police union head Kevin Graham, who has been adamantly pushing the city to hire more officers.

Hatch, the West Side minister, hopes Chicago’s homicide numbers continue to fall, but worries this will bring complacency and a feeling that more officers and technology are all the city needs.

“My concern is that if we put too much emphasis … on policing and technology and not enough on the investments in social services, those numbers will go up again because we have not addressed the social conditions that are driving all the violence,” he said.

https://www.apnews.com/517415af31844d1cb1d46230c8642579/Chicago-sees-drop-in-homicides,-shootings-in-2017

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Crime & Criminals, Gangs, Homicide, Inner City Shootings, Police Equipment/Technology, Policies & Practices, Shootings, Studies & Statistics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.