Chicago police release March crime stats; Gun violence on downward trend

CHICAGO -- Gun violence in Chicago continues on a downward trend, according to new crime numbers released by the Chicago Police Department.

New numbers released by police shows that the month of March was the 13th consecutive month of gun violence reductions in Chicago. Major crimes, such as robberies and burglaries, are also on the decline. Chicago police credit community efforts and more police officers on the streets.

Police said in last month, shootings were down 17 percent and murders down 25 percent as compared to march of 2017. This year alone, Chicago has seen a 22 percent reduction in murders and a 25 percent reduction in shootings as compared to the same time period last year.

City wide, robberies are down 14 percent and crime overall in Chicago is down 15 percent this year already.

Chicago police are taking more guns off of the street ... officers recovered more than 1,900 guns this year—a 3 percent increase over last year.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said while the department's work is far from over, he said the progress the city has seen in the first quarter of the year is a direct result of the hard work of Chicago police and efforts to make the agency more visible and more transparent.

Johnson also attributes the decrease in the numbers to so-called smart policing strategies including predicative crime software and gunshot detection systems in high crime areas and more cameras strategically placed throughout the city.

During the month of March, 86 new police officers were hired, adding more than 700 new members to the department since the beginning of the city's new hiring plan last year.