After Chicago's murder rate made national headlines last year, the city's police superintendent announced murders are down 26 percent.
That's compared to where the city was this time last year when murders shot up in the first quarter. Shooting incidents are down 19 percent year over year, Supt. Garry McCarthy said.
He said the majority of that can be traced back to guns and violence, which police are trying new tactics to combat. In the past month, narcotics officers on the West Side have done a number of undercover drug buys with a focus on heroin and crack cocaine.
One buy ended with 15 gang members in custody and the other led to the arrest of a dozen. The store where the second investigation led to a bust has since been shut down, and McCarthy said that should serve as a warning to other Chicago businesses.
Police Shut Down West Side Drug Markets
"It's real simple," McCarthy said. "If you're engaged in it, you're going to lose your business. If you're engaged in facilitating or tolerating these behaviors, you're going to lose your licenses and we're going to go after your business."
In the first 10 weeks of 2013, McCarthy said Chicago police took 3,100 guns off the streets.