Chicago Murder Rate Improves… but For How Long?

By finding a way to finance over a thousand more policemen, or by dumb luck, the Chicago murder rate backed off from last year’s record.

The Chicago murder rate improved this year, but it is anyone’s guess if it can be made into a trend. The media admits that homicides are still way too high. Last year’s high number of homicides may have been an unsustainable anomaly. Beating that number isn’t worth bragging about.

But one fact was mentioned: somehow there were 1,100 more police in 2017. That may mean more than all the other things mentioned like “economic opportunity.”

Newsflash: If you are willing to kill people, then they want to stay away from you. You don’t get many opportunities.

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Trending: Hey Florida, Listen Up! Charlie Crist in His Own Words

AFP reports, “Chicago murder rate declines but still alarmingly high.

Chicago experienced a near 20-year record number of murders last year, prompting President Donald Trump to regularly single out the city for criticism.


The good news is that violence actually declined in Chicago in 2017.

The bad news is that it remains alarmingly high.

As of mid-December, there had been 635 murders in Chicago — a 15 percent drop from the previous year, according to the Chicago Police Department.

The total number of shootings incidents was down 21 percent to 2,719.

Still, murders remain at levels unseen since the 1990s, when the crack cocaine epidemic ravaged communities across the United States and fueled a spike in crime.


City officials have credited the reduction in murders and shootings this year to a push to hire 1,100 additional police officers and a focus on new crime-fighting technologies.


While officials have emphasized policing, residents in ravaged neighborhoods of Chicago, the adopted home of former US president Barack Obama, point to a need for economic revitalization.

“That’s the work that’s happening on the ground,” Chicago south-side resident Asiaha Butler told AFP. “More entrepreneurs. More opportunities for businesses coming into the community.”


“My block had a number of shootings in the beginning of summer, and it decreased to zero,” Butler said.

Now, she wants the kinds of opportunities that can keep young people toward a prosperous path, and away from drugs and gangs.

“Opportunities to work, opportunities to higher education, opportunities to home ownership,” she said.

Read the entire AFP story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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