Chicago Sees Homicides Jump By 60 Percent In First 3 Months Of 2012

Chicago’s City Hall must be in a tizzy today. The Chicago Tribune confirmed what a number of Chicagoans already suspected- shootings, and more importantly, homicides, are up. From Jeremy Gorner on the Tribune website this morning:

Homicides in Chicago soared by 60 percent in the first three months of 2012, continuing a troublesome trend that began late last year. Nonfatal shootings also rose sharply in the first quarter, Police Department statistics show…

From Jan. 1 through April 1 this year, 120 homicides were recorded in Chicago, up sharply from 75 in the same period in both 2011 and 2010, according to department statistics. Nonfatal shootings totaled almost 490 in the first three months of 2012, up 37 percent from a year earlier.

Crime in every other major category fell, including a 15 percent drop in sexual assaults and a 10 percent decline in burglaries. Overall crime dropped 10 percent citywide, according to the department.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Street gangs are being blamed for most of this upswing in violence. Back on March 2, 2011, I noted that one federal law enforcement agency estimates there are 75-100 gangs, consisting of over 100,000 members, operating in the Chicagoland area.

Some have also pointed to the area’s unseasonably warm winter as a contributing factor.

Still others attribute the rise in nonfatal shootings and homicides on an understaffed Chicago Police Department. From the article:

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the union that represents rank-and-file cops, continued to blame the rising violence on the department’s failure to replace retiring officers.

“Any officer will tell you that the Chicago Police Department is short-staffed, except for the superintendent,” said Michael Shields. “This year’s budget was balanced at the expense of public safety.”

The claim that the Chicago Police Department is severely undermanned is routinely heard in the unofficial CPD blog Second City Cop.

Source:

Gorner, Jeremy. “Chicago homicides soar in first quarter of 2012.” Chicago Tribune. 12 Apr. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-homicides-soar-20120412,0,1713215.story). 12 Apr. 2012.

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Thursday, April 12th, 2012 Crime, Firearms, Main Street, Public Safety
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