The youth violence that has drawn a national spotlight on Chicago has taken a significant dip, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. Shooting incidents involving victims 16 and younger last year dropped 40 percent over 2012. Shooting incidents involving Chicago Public Schools students more than halved — dropping 56 percent so far this school year. Already basking in the glow of the city's lowest murder rate since 1965 and lowest overall crime rate since 1972, city officials credit this newest drop to coordinated anti-youth violence efforts they say are paying off.
“Chicago is making important progress in reducing youth violence. No single part of the system can do this alone,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Sun-Times. Nearly half of all violent crimes in the city involve school-age youth. The youth data follows the historic drop in homicides to 415, from the 503 that was the nation's highest murder total in 2012. Chicago also saw a 24 percent drop in overall shootings and 16 percent drop in overall crime. This time last year, it was the city's bloodiest January in a decade, and Chicago drew a prolonged and unwanted spotlight with the Jan. 29 killing of 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton.