Chicago Homicide Rate Dropped in Last Year

The city's homicide rate in 2013 was down by 18 percent.

Posted: 01/03/2014 10:20 AM EST

The homicide rate in Chicago was down by 18 percent in 2013, according to the city’s police department. Last year 415 homicides were reported, compared to 503 in 2012 and 435 in 2011. This is the fewest murders in the city since 1965.

The decline in homicides can be attributed partly to increased police presence in Chicago’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods this year. After having its deadliest January since 2002 with a recorded 42 homicides, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy reassigned 200 desk officers to the streets, where they focused on areas with high incidents of gang violence and gun crimes.

This cost the city nearly $100 million in overtime, according to the Chicago Tribune

Hadiya Pendleton, 15, who participated in Obama’s inauguration parade in January 2013, was shot and killed in a Chicago park shortly after — news that brought Chicago's gun violence to national headlines. 

In February 2013, Obama visited his hometown to make a plea for measures that would ease the issue of gun violence. First Lady Michelle Obama also addressed community leaders on the issue of gun violence in April and spoke on the need to invest in more neighborhood programs for youth. 

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says statistics for 2013 are a step in the right direction, but that there is still more work to be done.

“We’ve been stuck at the same murder rate for the past 10 years, and this year, 2013, obviously represents progress,” McCarthy said according to the Tribune. “Now we have to build on that progress and keep it moving forward."

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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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