Fighting back against what he sees as a media obsession with counting homicides, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says the city is enjoying the lowest crime rate in decades and may be on course to lead the nation in crime reduction. “There is almost a mania, if you will, to report aggregate incidents, which may or may not be better than last year,” McCarthy told a news briefing, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
As of Sunday, there were 470 homicides in the city in 2012, compared with 394 during the same time period last year. Despite the spike in homicides and shootings in early 2012, those numbers have been coming down in recent months, McCarthy said, crediting strategies that include arresting at least 5,000 more gang members this year than in 2011 and working with the city Department of Buildings to tear down 220 vacant buildings, which tend to attract gang members. McCarthy said overall reported crime is down around 10 percent this year over last year. He said Chicago is doing better with overall crime reduction than Los Angeles, New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.