By Amber Randall
The Chicago Police Department touted the decline in murders and shootings in the city for 2017 in its New Year’s Day release on homicide statistics.
The city saw a nearly 16 percent decline in murders in the city compared to 2016, while overall shootings also dropped, reports CNN.
In 2017, there were 650 homicides while the city experienced 771 homicides in 2016. Shooting incidents and shooting victims also dropped in 2017 compared to the previous year–there were 2,785 shooting incidents and 3,457 shooting victims as compared to 2016’s 3,550 shooting incidents and 4,349 shooting victims.
Despite the declines in homicides and shootings, 2017’s homicide count is still higher than in 2014 and 2015.
“I am proud of the progress our officers made in reducing gun violence all across the city in 2017, but none of us are satisfied,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said in a statement, adding that the force would be working even harder in the new year to crack down on the gun violence and to save more lives.
The department believes their smart policing strategy and hiring more officers to the force, among other things, helped to drive the homicide and shootings down across the city.
The first homicide of the new year in Chicago happened while a 51 year-old man was driving early Monday morning. Police found his car crashed into a fence, while the man had a gunshot wound in his back.