(CBS) — The city of Chicago closed the first eight months of 2014 with the fewest murder to date since 1963.
Compared to the same time period last year, murders here were down seven percent with 21 fewer murders in the first eight months of 2013 and 101 fewer murders over the same time frame in 2012.
“While we are two-thirds of the way through the year and have had the fewest murders to date since 1963, we are not satisfied,” said Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy in a statement. “We will continue implementing a comprehensive strategy, putting more officers in high crime areas, partnering with community leaders, and investing in prevention programs for at-risk youth. But even with the best policing and strongest prevention in the world, without better state and federal laws to keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of dangerous criminals we’ll continue to face an uphill battle.”
Overall crime was down 14 percent, but shootings were up six percent.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says there are “a couple of pockets” where police are struggling.
“We still have areas, like Englewood, that has the most shootings in the city – yet their decrease over the last two or three years is very significant.”
And in South Chicago, “There’s seven or eight different conflicts that are going on and it’s very difficult to get your hands around every single one of them all the time.”
McCarthy says police are keeping up their “custom notification program” in those areas – that is, intervening – and going to the homes of people who may literally be in the line of gang gunfire.
As the first day of school approaches, McCarthy says the Safe Passage system worked so well last year they will duplicate it this year.