Top Cop: Murder Decline Is Progress, Not a Victory

Chicago’s murder mayhem is declining, police said.

Chicago ended the month of May down four murders from May 2012, an eight percent decrease, according to Director of News Affairs Adam Collins.

Overall shootings for May saw a 31 percent decrease, marking 68 fewer shootings than last year, Collins said.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy attributes the decline to a comprehensive policing strategy that includes a return to community policing, gang violence reduction, narctotics targeting and a close partnership with the Chicago Police Department and the community.

As Chicago’s violence skyrocketed into the spotlight, the city’s overall violence rates are down this year when compared to last year’s murder rates.

To date, there have been fewer murders in 2013 than in 2012 and 2011, marking a 34 percent dip since last year.

Overall crime is also down 13 percent since last year and has dropped 22 percent over the past two years, Collins said.

"The significant drop in murders, shootings and overall crime throughout Chicago is real progress, but it’s not victory,” McCarthy said in a statement. “We will have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, and we will continue our efforts to ensure everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety.”

The city’s violence received national attention with its continued gun violence debate and the deaths of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton and 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins.

The Illinois Legislature approved a gun measure Friday that would end the statewide ban on the concealed possession of a firearm in public, the last state ban in the nation.

But opposers of the legislation fear that concealed carry will further the city's violence.

Illinois' compromise measure reflected the division between gun rights advocates across the state and gun control supporters in Chicago, which continue to battle in the wake of gang violence and murders.

Marking the end of May, the city’s violence claimed an 18-year-old man and wounded nine others overnight.

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