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Homicides, Shootings Down in October, Police Say

Police superintendent says crime is down 9 percent for the year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago police on Thursday said the just-ended month of October had the second lowest murder rate since 1982, and eight less than last year.

    There were 36 homicides in October 2012, compared to 44 in October 2011, officials said. Shootings were also down, from 238 to 208, they said.

    "While we are not satisfied and will not rest until every neighborhood in the city experiences the same safety and quality of life as the majority of our neighborhoods, we are making progress," said police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

    Still, homicides are up for the year. The city earlier this week recorded 2011's 436th homicide, matching last year's total. At the pace the year has gone, Chicago could record 500 homicides by New Year's Eve.

    McCarthy attributed the downward trend to a gang strategy launched earlier this year.

    "We continue to make progress in our efforts to reduce violence across the city," said McCarthy. "Overall crime is down 9 percent and the impact of our Gang Violence Reduction Strategy is evident in the results we’ve obtained since April."

    Chicago started the year with a 60 percent year-over-year spike in homicides. Criminologists believe the unseasonably warm weather earlier this year was a factor in the increase, the Chicago Tribune reported.