(CBS) — 2016 was a horrible year, Chicago’s police superintendent admits. Murders and shootings were off the charts.
2017 was better, Eddie Johnson tells 2 Investigator Brad Edwards.
The top cop is especially proud of one statistic, he says: a 43 percent drop in shootings in the Englewood region.
“The fact that Englewood is seeing such a reduction in gun violence, and I’ve been a cop for 29 years and always worked in the more challenging areas,” he says. “I never thought I’d see the point where Englewood would be driving the reduction in citywide violence.”
Still, Edwards persists, major cities like New York are making bigger strides.
“We came off of a horrible 2016 — everybody knows that,” Johnson says. “That’s progress, it’s not success. It shows we’re pointing the needle in the right direction.”
This has been Johnson’s first full year in the driver’s seat, a year with intense national scrutiny – the lion’s share comping from President Trump, often via Twitter.
“It’s frustrating to me because he never talks about the progress we’re making,” Johnson says.
Edwards asks: “If you could tweet something, what would that be?”
“Come to Chicago and look at the hard work the people in this city are doing to make things better,” Johnson responds.
There may have been an overall reduction in crime, but there also was a significant drop in arrests.
Overall, arrests down 35 percent when compared to three years ago. Johnson counters that gun-related arrests are up by about 30 percent compared to the previous ear, indicating “we are focusing on the right people for the right reasons.”
Johnson is glad to have literally survived 2017. He underwent a successful kidney transplant, with his son as the donor.
There’s a new addition in his 5th floor office: a treadmill.
“If I don’t do something on the treadmill every day, I just feel like I’ve wasted a day,” Johnson says.