CHICAGO (CBS) — Crime statistics released by the Chicago Police Department on Thursday showed November was the third deadliest month of the year, with the city on pace to have the highest number of murders in nearly 20 years.
There were 77 murders in Chicago last month, compared to 37 in November 2015, according to police. Only two other months saw more murders: October, with 78, and August, with 90.READ MORE: Local Businesses Hope For Similar Outcome Of Shoppers For Small Business Saturday
Police said the vast majority of murders have been concentrated in five police districts on the South and West Sides.
Chicago is on pace for more than 700 murders in 2016. The city has not had that many murders in a single year since 1998.
There were also 316 shooting incidents and 389 shooting victims in Chicago last month. Overall, more than 4,000 people have been shot in Chicago this year.
Johnson said criminals have become more brazen. The superintendent said a new report from the Justice Department revealed shooting attacks on police are up 300 percent compared to last year.
“That just goes to illustrate how people out there now are willing to shoot at police officers. In Chicago, just over the past week, we’ve had four incidents. A few of them, guys were committing shootings right in front of marked squad cars, right in front of them. So if they’re not afraid to shoot at police, then imagine, you know they’re not going to be afraid to shoot at other gang members,” he said.READ MORE: Chicago Police Alert Businesses Of Recent Burglaries In Pilsen
Johnson acknowledged the number of detectives in the ranks of the department is too low, and police are not solving enough murders.
According to published reports, about 8 percent of the police force in Chicago are detectives, compared to about 15 percent in Los Angeles and New York City. Chicago also lags in solving murders, with a 46 percent murder clearance rate last year, compared to 63 percent nationally.
Johnson said the Chicago Police Department is committed to adding about 350 detectives to the payroll over the next two years as part of the push to hire nearly 1,000 more officers in 2017 and 2018.
“Once we increase the number of detectives, that’ll help, but once we restore the trust that the community has in CPD, that’ll also help. So I think we can fix that,” he said.
The department began accepting applications for a new entrance exam last week. Applications can be submitted through Jan. 31, 2017, and the hiring exam will be held at McCormick Place on April 1 and April 2.MORE NEWS: 'The WasteShed' Art Store, Selling Recycled Supplies For Less, Opens Second Location In Evanston
Johnson said he is “very encouraged” by the response the department has had so far.