CHICAGO (CBS) — The murder rate is dropping overall in Chicago, with one neighborhood standing out as a major exception.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, police statistics showed the murder rate was down 2 percent citywide in 2011 compared with 2010, and overall crime was down 8 percent, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report. There were a total of 419 murders in the city this year.
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But in Englewood, the crime rate went up drastically.
This year, 56 people were killed in the Englewood police district, which is bounded by Garfield Boulevard on the north and 75th Street on the south, and by the Dan Ryan Expressway on the east and the Penn Central railroad tracks on the west.
The figure for murders in Englewood is up 40 percent compared with 2010, according to the Sun-Times.
Grisly murders in Englewood have made headlines just this week. On Tuesday evening, Dantril Brown, 17, and Jawan Ross, 16, were killed and five other boys and men were injured when a gunman opened fire at the Church’s Chicken restaurant at 6600 S. Halsted St.
For the past several months since police Supt. Garry McCarthy was hired, 1,000 officers were shifted from several specialized units to the Patrol Division. In October, McCarthy claimed he was doing more with less.
“We are working with the resources we have to keep this city safe, and over the past three months, we have proven that we can do a great deal with what we have,” McCarthy told the City Council on Oct. 27.
McCarthy said he thinks the department is headed in the right direction.
“Three consecutive months now of week-by-week reductions in the vicinity of 20 percent is very significant to show that we’re getting traction on our crime reduction efforts,” McCarthy said Oct. 27.
But McCarthy did concede that it is hard to ignore the growing violence in Englewood, and it is frustrating to see murders on the rise there.
McCarthy went on to say the way to fight crime in Englewood is to shut down drug markets and keep officers on the blocks where they operate.
He said another strategy is to work with leaders from churches, community groups and other city departments.
Also, while the overall murder rate is down in Chicago, the murder rate in New York is a third of Chicago’s even though that city has three times as many people, the Sun-Times pointed out. The murder rate in Los Angeles is about half that of Chicago, the newspaper reported.
The only categories of crime that were up this year were motor vehicle thefts and aggravated sexual assaults, both of which rose by a slight amount, the Sun-Times reported.