Chicago’s decline in killings and shootings continued for the 14th consecutive month, according to crime figures released Tuesday. It’s a remarkable drop in a city long plagued by gun violence. In April, there were 29% fewer shootings and 21% fewer killings — decreases authorities attribute to the hiring of more officers, stronger community policing efforts and investments in technology, such as gunshot detection systems and predictive crime software, to help deploy officers.
“The third piece, and I tell you, it just can’t be understated, is that fact that the community has now re-engaged with the police department and are helping us to reduce the violence,” Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told CNN affiliate WLS TV on Tuesday.
The city had 173 shootings last month, compared to 245 in April of 2017, police said. The number of murders in April dropped from 48 in 2017 to 37 last month.
With the technology now active in nearly half of Chicago’s police districts, officials in the nation’s third-largest city said murders are down 22% and shootings nearly 27% year-to-date, compared to the same period in 2017.
While acknowledging the city still has a long way to go in combating an epidemic of violence that has garnered unwanted national attention, police officials remain hopeful that their strategies have started to pay dividends in the past year.
Chicago saw a 16% drop in murders from 2016 — the deadliest year in nearly two decades, with the city recording 771 murders — to 2017, when there were 650 murders.