Chicago Reports Fewer Murders in 2017

NATION-NOW     Chicago ends 2017 with 650 murders a grim sign of improvement     
       Chicago ends 2017 with 650 murders

NATION-NOW Chicago ends 2017 with 650 murders a grim sign of improvement Chicago ends 2017 with 650 murders

The city of Chicago saw a drop in both shootings and homicides in 2017 compared with the historically violent year the city had in 2016.

Chicago Police report the murder rate there declined by sixteen per cent previous year. Those districts were the first to be equipped with Strategic Decision Support Centers, which are outfitted with ShotSpotter devices and staffed with data-minded police officers and analysts from the University of Chicago's Crime Lab. "So we have over 850 families this year that didn't have to suffer through the gun trauma that they did last year and certainly that's not room or cause for celebration but it is progress and if we continue to build on that 2018 should be even better hopefully", said Johnson.

According to data accumulated throughout the year, there's good news and bad news about the Chicago homicide rate.

The year's third homicide happened at around 5 p.m. Monday in the Fuller Park neighborhood, police said.

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For the second straight year, Chicago also tallied more murders than New York City and Los Angeles combined.

Chicago initiated police reforms in 2017 after a federal investigation found officers routinely violated people's civil rights, citing excessive force and racially discriminatory conduct.

Chicago saw a roughly 16 percent decrease in homicides in 2017 compared with 2016, the deadliest year in two decades, but the city still finished the year with a death toll that, before 2016, was not seen since the early 2000s.

Chicago Police officers investigate a crime scene after a motorist was shot in the head and lost control of his vehicle along the 5300 block of west Monroe Street in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., October 31, 2017.

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But police superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Tribune that new technology and tactics, the hiring of 1,000 additional police officers, and efforts to improve police-community relations had helped lower total shootings.

That included the use of "strategic decision support centers" in neighborhoods that have struggled with violence, he said.

Over the three-day New Year's holiday weekend 26 people were shot in the city, but that was half as many as last year.

"I am proud of the progress our officers made in reducing gun violence all across the city in 2017, but none of us are satisfied", Johnson said in a statement.

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