Murders Down 34% in Chicago Amid Intense Police Patrols–Will It Last?


A year after Chicago drew attention for soaring gun violence and gang bloodshed, murders this year have dipped to a level not seen since the early 1960s, reports the New York Times. So far in 2013, Chicago homicides, which outnumbered slayings in New York and Los Angeles last year, are down 34 percent from the same period in 2012. In recent months, as many as 400 police officers a day, working overtime, have been dispatched to just 20 small zones deemed the city's most dangerous. The police say they are reducing retaliatory shootings between gang factions by using a comprehensive analysis of tens of thousands of suspected gang members, the turf they claim, and their rivalries. The police are focusing on more than 400 people they have identified as having associations that make them likely to be involved in a murder, as a victim or an offender. It is unclear whether the months of lessened violence will produce a lasting trend, given a spring of rainy, chilly weather that may have kept people off the streets. Homicides have also decreased in New York, by more than 22 percent, and in Los Angeles, by more than 17 percent.

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