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Chicago Police: Homicide Down 18 Percent, Lowest Since 1965

According to Chicago Police: The homicide rate dropped 18 percent, shootings across the city dropped 24 percent and crime overall was down 16 percent.
Posted at 9:18 AM, Jan 02, 2014

In 2012, Chicago registered more than 500 homicides, making it, by a wide margin, the murder capital of the U.S..

High profile homicides like the death of  Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed just a weeks after performing for President Obama's inauguration, damaged the national image of the city. (Via WFLD)

But 2013 numbers may offer hope to residents of the Windy City.

According to Chicago Police: The homicide rate dropped 18 percent, shootings across the city dropped 24 percent and crime overall was down 16 percent. 

"Whether or not we're there yet, no we're not there yet. 400 murders is nothing to celebrate, but the fact is, progress is being made." (Via WLS-TV)

That's Chicago Police superintendent Garry McCarthy, who shouldered a large majority of the blame for the record murder rate in 2012. (Via YouTube / wearechange)

McCarthy says the drop was no fluke and credits a variety of strategies taken by the police department.

"McCarthy moved 200 officers off desk duty in February to bolster roving “saturation teams” aimed at suppressing outbreaks of violence ... An extra 400 cops were assigned to 20 “impact zones” in the most dangerous neighborhoods on the South and West sides." (Via Chicago Tribune)

But those extra officers must be paid for their work, which cost the city a lot more than expected.

Specifically, three times more. The city budgeted $32 million for overtime pay to police officers and spent a whopping $96 million. The city has been much more generous for 2014, budgeting $70 million. (Via The New York Times)

According to the Chicago Police Department, this is the lowest homicide rate the city has seen in almost 40 years.