After a disastrous 2012 that saw Chicago
garner national attention for its violence, homicides and shootings declined by double digits in 2013, the best numbers in half a century, according to the police department.
On Thursday, in the waning days of the year, homicides hit a symbolic mark of 400, but that was still a far cry from the more than 500 recorded in all of last year, only the second time that milestone had been reached in the last decade.
While criminologists say it's difficult to pinpoint the precise reasons for the decline, veteran high-ranking Chicago police officials interviewed by the Tribune credited the department's flooding the most dangerous neighborhoods with hundreds of extra cops. But that success came at a steep price â€“ nearly $100 million in overtime pay, triple the amount budgeted for 2013 by the city.
Among a myriad other likely contributing factors were Superintendent Garry McCarthy
's insistence on accountability from his commanders, innovative attempts at preventing retaliatory shootings and, yes, the harsher winter weather in early 2013 compared with unseasonably warm temperatures a year earlier, police officials said.
To keep reading as a DigitalPlus member, please click HERE.
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more
about the new features.
The Baltimore Sun encourages civil dialogue related to our stories; you must register and log-in to our site in order to participate. We reserve the right to remove any user and to delete comments that violate our Terms of Service
. By commenting, you agree to these terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.