Seven months after Chicago ended its deadliest year in decades, the latest data shows shootings and homicides are significantly down, although overall crime is up, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Homicides have dropped 16 percent through July, down to 379 from 452 at the same point last year. The number of people shot has fallen 20 percent, down to 1,969 from 2,455 during the same period last year. “We know our work is far from over,” said Police Superintendent David Brown. “Our goals are safe neighborhoods and lasting peace.” The city saw 67 homicides in July, down nearly 38 percent from the 108 recorded during the same month last year when violence reached historic levels. The number of shooting victims fell 28 percent from last July, down to 447 from 595.
The drop in the most serious violent crimes comes after police began flooding the city’s 15 most dangerous communities with more officers and other resources, including help with jobs, housing and health. So far this year, all but one of those communities has seen a decline in gunshot victims. In 55 police beats that cover many of those communities — and account for more than half of the city’s gun violence — homicides have fallen nearly 26 percent and shootings have dropped 33 percent. With crime emerging as the key issue heading into next year’s mayoral election, Brown and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have pointed to the drop in shootings and homicides as proof the administration is addressing a critical concern. Still, those numbers are still far higher than 2019, when Lightfoot took office and before the pandemic hit. There has been a 35 percent increase in reported crimes this year.