Police stops down, homicides up in Chicago

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CHICAGO -- As violent crime continues to spike in Chicago, there is a nearly 90 percent drop in police stops this year compared to last year.

But those who study policing say don’t be so fast to think one led to another.  There are a number of reasons that number is so high.

From the start of the year to last week, police recorded nearly 21,000 investigative stops.  A year ago during the same time that number was more than 157,000, a police spokesperson confirmed to WGN News.

Police say there is a good reason the number of stops are so different.  First, the agreement with the ACLU to avoid a lawsuit over stop and frisk type policies requires officer to be trained on how to fill out paperwork to ensure people are not just being stopped without any suspicion of crime.  The department says more officers are getting up to speed on that training and believes the number of stops will increase.

The ACLU tells WGN News the number of stops have been going to down since their initial report in 2014 when stops were around 250,000.  They say they do not see it as a bad thing or having a correlation with Chicago’s violent start to the year.

The department is set to release end of the month crime stats tomorrow.  The department believes it will show a small drop but, as a police spokesmen said, they are still way too high.