A man in Maywood was shot Tuesday just as authorities in the West Suburban village were marking a strange anniversary: a full year without a homicide.
The shootings are still a pretty regular occurrence, but none, like the man shot Tuesday afternoon, have been fatal.
"I don't want to make this some sort of celebration," police chief Tim Curry said a day earlier, according to the Chicago Tribune. "But I also feel it's important for people to know that we've had a period of peace. It's something to be remembered, not necessarily celebrated."
Two years ago, the village averaged one homicide per month. The peak came in 2003, when 20 people were killed.
Curry credits the dramatic drop on a crackdown on loitering, an improved community/police relationship and a network of 79 cameras that blanket the village.
"Basically, it's street-suppression. We are taking loiterers off the street. They present an image problem and they are potential offenders or victims," Curry said.
He said officers will confront groups of people that seem to be hanging out on street corners and ask questions about what they're doing. Identification can also be checked, which can lead to a check on outstanding warrants.
"I hope that it's not that I've gotten used to the sound of gunfire, but it seems like I don't notice it as much," said community leader John Yi, who moved to the area two years ago. "It's probably because there's just a lot less of it."