Chicago's homicide rate decreases for the third straight year

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Three years ago Chicago saw a record number of shootings in two thousand sixteen more than four thousand people shot more than seven hundred fifty killed. That was the most the city had seen in two decades. Both Chicago in two thousand nineteen on a more hopeful note. Preliminary number I show a steep drop in shootings and homicides. WBZ reporter Patrick Smith has been following the stats and updates us on the new numbers and puts it all in perspective breath so there were four hundred and ninety two people murdered in Chicago so we talk about progress but still almost five hundred people murdered there. Were Twenty six hundred shooting victims terms and about twenty one hundred shooting incidents so that you know they're incidents where more than one person is shot so twenty six hundred people shot four hundred. Ninety people murdered both all of those numbers though are are better than than last year. I'm put that in context for us when we look at the past few years. Two thousand eighteen two thousand seventeen and then of course that big jump in two thousand sixteen right exactly so twenty twenty sixteen we had this historic increase. Since then. We've been coming down this year's numbers it's about ten the shootings down about ten percent compared to last year the doubt about thirty thirty five percent compared to two thousand sixteen so we are were were just about back to where we were before that two thousand sixteen spike in violence so that's the macro macro level but when we look at the neighborhood level and where we're seeing significant changes. What can you tell us about that? Well you're going to hear me say this a lot which is like comparing things to twenty sixteen and looking at that. Because we're we're seeing the biggest decreases on the west side of Chicago like The Austin Police District which covers most of the neighborhood of Austin on on the west side that had an almost twenty percent reduction in murders last year for twenty nine eighteen the other westside neighborhoods west areas had thirteen fifteen percent reduction then shootings the west side is what got hit the hardest in two thousand sixteen. It's where the violence was the worst in two thousand sixteen end for the first couple years after that twenty seventeen two thousand eighteen. Even there was some sort of stubborn violence levels. Were still remarkably high and some of those areas so we saw the biggest reduction on the west side their parts of the south side that also had reductions most of the south side and the north side had reductions in violence although there are a few neighborhoods that are still suffering. You know well not just all. There are many neighbors the city that are suffering from violence still but most of the the city saw. Sr Reduction in shootings here Turley back the interim superintendent of CD. How a New Year's Eve press conference releasing the numbers and here's what he had to say about why he? I thought this was happening. Some of the things that have allowed us to to make these reductions I've talked about Particularly our partnerships with faith based community and our partnerships with street outreach workers workers and our partnerships with community based organizations those are really important but also technology has aided Chicago PD okay so he's talking about partnerships and technology starting with the partnerships. What do we know about how? CD's approaching community in the shootings. Well one thing we know is that this this year You Know Actually Mayor Emanuel created it but then now mayor lightfoot invested more in the city's Office of gun violence prevention people are calling for her to do to invest a lot more money anything then what she has to sort of get us on par with New York and Los Angeles. But that's this office that suppose to give a comprehensive approach gun violence prevention. So it's not just about policing you know there was a lot of philanthropic dollars that went into gang outreach street outreach after two thousand sixteen and we actually heard you know I heard from Eddie Bocanegra. Who Works for Heart Lennon runs this outreach program called ready Chicago that that works with people who are closest to gun violence? He gave a lot of credit to two former Chicago. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. WHO said that He? We really worked really closely with street. Outreach workers that there were district level commanders who worked with them at and coordinated with them and that it wasn't all you know police in law and order. I obviously the police are there to maintain law and order but that they knew that there were better and maybe other ways to approach gun violence besides just just going as hard as you could it at people when you say street outreach. What does that actually mean? So that that's a really good question so there are kind of different versions of that the sort of the version that maybe people are most familiar with. Is something like ceasefire. cease-fire what's called cure violence now where you have people who are former gang members people who are close to gang members who go out and just mediate conflicts and try to prevent people from shooting shooting at one another another Eddie Bocanegra who. I just mentioned. He used to do that. What he says what they're doing now and there are a few different organizations? That are doing this. You're just outreaching to say. Hey don't shoot each other you're saying don't shoot each other and we'd like to give you a job or we'd like to get you some therapy or we'd like to give you something we're not just saying don't shoot we're saying here's an alternative and so there has been more investment in that from from the private sector from philanthropic groups in the last few years. What's really but people have been pushing for the city to start investing more and paying for that to happen and so that you can give give people an outlet in an alternative to to you know violent crime so we hurt the interim superintendent they are also talking about technology? What role is stop playing? Yeah so that's something like the police in the last few years or put something called shot. Spotter which is supposed to use sound to detect. When there's been a shooting so they don't have to wait for nine one one call so police can can respond more quickly to them? There's also they've got more cameras that they've got these strategic support centers in the districts. That's supposed to combine all the different tech- technological the logical options. They have to sort of make response quicker and get more street level information to the police. You know that's something that University of Chicago really helped pilot. They've done research. It is their program program. But they've done research on their own program to say that they saw reductions in the district where they put that technology in their Beyond that you know. We have more police officers than we did. A few years ago there was this is pushed one thousand more police officers under Mayor Emanuel. That happened And then I think one thing that Charlie Beck is not going to talk about is just regression to the mean. Statistically we we had this huge spike horrific by two thousand sixteen were You know statistician might tell you that we're just sort of coming back to normal. I think the big question is going to be are. Are these reductions things where we can keep making progress and actually get back. Get back to a better place get better than we were before. Two Thousand Sixteen rather than just sort of getting back to what is honestly an unacceptable level level of violence five hundred murders a year. No one's going to tell you that. That's okay so we're we're we're back down about five hundred. The question is can we take that next step and actually see real reductions and not. Just get back to where we were before two thousand sixteen and put these numbers into context when we look at other big cities like New York or La. Well New York had a slight increase in its murders this year. La I believe leave state about flat. We still have a lot more murders here in Chicago Than New York and Los Angeles. It used to be that we had more murders than New York. Combine that's not exactly true. That's not quite true this year however they had If you put them together there at about five hundred fifty murders for this year they have millions and millions more people in New York in Los Angeles so as far as murder rate were nowhere near them we had about you know we had about fifty fewer murders in Chicago than New York and Los Angeles together so these are just preliminary numbers we should say a The official figures will come out after the FBI does their audit. How much of a change could we see between the numbers that are being reported right now by C. p. d. and the numbers that come from the FBI not a huge change For Murders for instance you know I think in two thousand seventeen the changes about seven murders from from when they preliminary members to what they actually sent to the FBI. So you'll see that change. I mean sadly that that some of that has to do with a person who shot on December thirtieth and then dies a few days later and that changes inches from shoot a shooting incident to a murder. Obviously all of this is very tragic. So you'll see some changes in the numbers but nothing that's going to throw off these percentages or the big picture takeaways Geico as well in a press conference earlier this week Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie back and we have to stress here he is interim he. He's made very clear that he's not interested the permanent job but he laid out what he hopes to achieve while he is in office. What did he say? Well one thing that I thought was really interesting. He spent a lot of time talking about clearance rates. You know this is how detectives detectives do solving murders and he said that the CPT had a fifty three percent clearance rate this year. That's the highest. It's been in nine years you should look at. WBZ's chip Mitchell's is reporting to to see sort of diving into those numbers more. Not not this year but in the past of how they calculate those clearance rates. I won't get into it but it doesn't mean that they solve half of the murders that happen this year either way. It's great if they're at a nine year high. There was a report that came out earlier this year that really criticized the the detective division homicide Detective Division Chicago. Charlie Charlie back said he's going to be implementing things that were recommended there. I think that that's a big priority for him for his time. Here is getting our detectives to get to a better solve rate solving thing. More murders which increases trust in in in the department among residents and hopefully prevents future violence. So we have to again remind people that CBD's operating under a consent consent decree right now. Charlie Beck let the LAPD through its own consent decree at least part of it. How much power will he have to? Maybe implement some of the changes that are recommended in that decree. Well I think he has a lot of power of making it clear whether or not it's a priority and I wanna be clear that that what I've heard from people is that Eddie Johnson the former superintendent. This was a priority for him. Two people did believe that he truly believed in the changes but there are also problems where they said. There's not enough resources to this. Not everyone in the department is totally buying in. I think Charlie back with with the experience that he has might know what resources are needed to to get a higher level of compliance with the consent decree and make that a priority. I certainly heard from people who were hopeful about him. As interim because of his experience in Los Angeles as you mentioned that he'll make consent decree compliance a real priority of his interim administration and really quickly any word on the search for a permanent superintendent for CD. I have not heard any word. I mean the the applications I believe are due by the end of this week. Maybe next week I I expect that the police board will Abbas recommendations by March or April that's WBZ criminal justice reporter Patrick Smith Patrick. Thanks

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