CHICAGO (STMW) – Total crime is down for the 23rd consecutive month, according to police Supt. Jody Weis Sunday morning on the South Side.

Weis made the announcement during a press conference at police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave.

Total crime was down citywide by 3.8 percent, supported by a nearly 10 percent decline in overall violent crime and more than 2 percent dip in property offenses, according to a release from police News Affairs.

While motor vehicle theft incidents increased by 22.6 percent, through the end of November, it marked the 23rd consecutive month of lower overall crime, according to the release.

Twelve fewer murders through the end of November realized a 2.8 percent drop that maintained a pace for closing the year with fewer incidents than were reported in years with historically low murder totals, including 2007 – the lowest in the City since 1965, the release said.

The number of murders committed with a firearm dropped by 4.6 percent compared to last year during the same time.

Through the end of November, police seized more than 7,400 guns off of the street.

Two incidents in November demonstrated the dedicated efforts of Chicago Police officers to recover firearms and pursue violent criminals, the release said.

After hearing shots fired in the Logan Square community on Nov. 6th, a Grand Central Detective and Shakespeare District officers worked together to apprehend the 36-year-old convicted felon who was responsible for the incident, according to the release.

In an unrelated event, Austin District officers arrested a 37-year-old armed robber and police impersonator who victimized two employees in a business on the City’s West Side on Nov. 24th. Firearms were recovered in both of these incidents.

Weis also praised the courageous community members who stepped forward in the Officer Flisk homicide investigation.

“I have said it many times, and some brave community members recently reaffirmed it–an allegiance between the community and law enforcement is more powerful than any criminal entity out there,” Weis said in the release. “I see a crack in the code of silence…now let’s shatter it.”

Violent index crimes were down across the board in all categories, including drops in aggravated assaults at nearly 12 percent, robberies at 11 percent, and aggravated batteries at just over 7 percent, the release said.

Incidents of criminal sexual assaults declined by 8.5 percent through the end of November, with Chicago Police making notable arrests during the month highlighting aggressive investigation of these crimes, according to the release.

On Nov. 9th, Harrison Area detectives charged a 44-year-old man with various criminal sexual assault charges after DNA evidence led investigators to the identity of the suspect responsible for assaulting two teenage girls, the release said.

Two days later, Near North District officers apprehended a 26-year-old man who had attempted to sexually assault a student in a dorm room almost two months earlier.

An investigative alert obtained by Belmont Area detectives allowed police to process the offender for an attempt criminal sexual assault charge, among other offenses.

Property crimes also showed downward trends through the end of November, with slightly more than a 2 percent drop in index offenses overall compared to last year during the same time, according to the release.

Motor vehicle theft incidents increased by 22.6 percent, but every other property offense decreased, including drops in arson at 12.7 percent, theft at 6.8 percent, and burglary at 2 percent, the release said.

“Every day Chicago Police officers face incredible risks to defeat the opportunity for even one person to be a victim of a crime in the City,” said Weis in the release.

“We are pleased with fewer incidents of crime that have been reported throughout the year, yet realize there is more work to be done, and that we must have the community as a partner to have a greater effect,” Weis said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)