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Tue Jan 1, 2019, 05:07 PM

Police: Homicides in Chicago down by nearly 100 in 2018

Source: Associated Press

Police: Homicides in Chicago down by nearly 100 in 2018

By MICHAEL TARM
January 1, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Preliminary numbers indicate that homicides in Chicago fell by about 100 last year compared to 2017, though the total again eclipses the number of homicides in Los Angeles and New York combined, according to data released Tuesday.

Police in Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, report that 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. That compares to 660 homicides in 2017 and more than 770 in 2016, which marked a 19-year high that put a national spotlight on Chicago’s persistently high rates of gun violence.

Chicago police credit the decreases in part to the addition of more than 1,000 new officers in recent years. Police also cite the creation of high-tech nerve centers in 20 out of 22 police districts, where officers rely on gunshot-detection technology and predictive analytics that help quickly get police to areas where violence is most likely to erupt.

“Are we where we want to be? Of course not,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview. But he added: “I do think we are taking steps in the right direction.”

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Although the decrease in 2018 is significant, the homicide total is a repeat of 2016 and 2017, when the number of killings in Chicago was higher than the combined total in the country’s two other largest cities. As of about mid-December, New York reported 278 homicides and Los Angeles had 243.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/a55e5f6e8b0842b0ae78a371d3cf1e75

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