CHICAGO — As 2019 comes to a close, Chicago police are reporting progress in reducing gun violence across the city.
According to police statistics, as of Wednesday, there were 484 homicides and roughly 2,100 shootings.
It’s a significant decline from 2016’s stunning spike in shootings. Last year, there were 561 homicides; down from 660 in 2017 and 770 in 2016.
Chicago police attribute the trends to new technology and an increased reliance on community mediation on gang conflicts.
Chicago will begin 2020 with an interim police superintendent after Eddie Johnson was let go by Mayor Lightfoot.
“My goal in the time that I am here is to make CPD as effective as I know how to make it,” Interim CPD Supt. Charlie Beck said.
Despite the double-digit drop in homicides over the last three years, gun violence still plagues Chicago.
On Christmas, a 7-year-old girl was shot as bullets rang into her Brighton Park home. Police said she was not the intended target.
“I mean what a Christmas. What is she going to remember the rest of her life during Christmas? It’s unacceptable,” community activist Andrew Holmes said.
Despite CPD’s gains, 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas said too many Chicagoans still don’t feel safe.
“I think the trends are positive and obviously I’m not going to take anything back from that,” Cardenas said. “But if you see this happening to innocent victims, then you don’t feel safe. The numbers may tell a different story, but when you have little girls fighting for their lives in the hospital, that tells you the reality of our situation.
Interim Superintendent Beck reportedly plans to move officers from citywide drug and gang investigations into police districts to fight areas plagued by violent crime.