Number of Chicago Homicides Dips Drastically in February 2013

14 homicides recorded in year's shortest month, compared to 43 in January

Friday, Mar 1, 2013  |  Updated 10:59 PM CDT
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Chicago's police superintendent says the dramatic downturn isn't a victory but does indicate crime-fighting strategies are working.

Chicago's police superintendent says the dramatic downturn isn't a victory but does indicate crime-fighting strategies are working.

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If you thought there weren't as many homicides making headlines in February as they did in January, you were correct.

As February came to a close, both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times put Chicago's homicide tally at 14. That's down from 43 in January. 

There were 29 homicides in February 2012, the Tribune reported.

"This is not victory. This is progress, and we're not going to treat it as anything different," police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Friday. "We're going to keep doing what we find is working. We're going to continue to refine our strategies, and we're going to make sure that every segment of this city enjoys safety and security."

While the drop may be worth mentioning, it still means that 14 lives were lost to violence in the city, affecting countless friends and family members.

Among the slain in January was Hadiya Pendleton, the teen who was shot and killed as she took cover in a park from a rain storm.

Her death, and the nation's ongoing conversation about reforms to gun laws, prompted a hometown visit by President Barack Obama.

"What happened to Hadiya is not unique. It's not unique to Chicago. It's not unique to this country. Too many of our children are being taken away from us," he said during his Feb. 15 remarks at Hyde Park Academy High School.

Additionally, a pair of big winter storms and the migration of 200 officers to the streets from administrative duties may also be factors in the downturn.

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