Chicago police look to build on reductions in crime

The Chicago Police Department saw reductions in overall crime in February, but murders and shootings were up compared to February 2019.

The department credited the overall reduction to its all-hands-on-deck public safety strategy with community-based organizations, street outreach groups and other law enforcement agencies.

Led by a 13 percent reduction in thefts and a 9 percent drop in burglaries from February 2019,

Chicago’s overall violent crime, which includes murders, robberies, burglaries, thefts and motor vehicle thefts, fell by 3 percent compared to the same time last year. Despite the overall decline, February also saw an uptick in vehicular hijackings, to which the Police Department responded with new partnerships, increased manpower and additional resources.

CPD announced the return of its joint-federal Carjacking Taskforce, a partnership with the U.S.

Attorney’s Office, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The taskforce is designed to collaborate and coordinate strategies and deployments to combat carjackings.

Several high-profile incidents on the CTA also led to a new public transit safety plan, which will add 50 more officers to the Mass Transit Unit, smart policing technology and a dedicated detective unit to the nation’s second-largest public transit system. Once complete in the spring, the new safety plan will provide CPD with seamless access to the 32,000 security cameras on the Chicago Transit Authority network as well as real-time access to cameras throughout the 1st (Central) District.

“Chicago police continue to pay close attention to crime trends as they occur throughout the city,” said Interim Superintendent Charlie Beck. “The department prides itself on being responsive, and I am proud of our officers for their recent focus on carjackings. The goal is to make Chicago the safest big city in the country. It’s important that we give our officers all the tools and resources necessary to achieve this goal.”

Murders and shootings both saw an uptick this month, with 34 murders in February 2020 compared to the 24 murders in February 2019. Additionally, there were 137 shooting incidents in February, compared to 109 in February of last year.

The city continues to see historic lows in burglaries, which are at their lowest levels since 2000.


Data from the February crime numbers shows:

  • Overall crime, which includes murders, robberies, burglaries, thefts and motor vehicle thefts, fell by 3 percent compared to the same period last year.
  • The decrease was led by a 13 percent drop in thefts and an 9 percent drop in burglaries year-to-date. In fact, burglaries in Chicago are at 20-year lows with eight districts (7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 25th) at their lowest or equal to lowest number of burglaries since 2000.
  • The month saw an increase in murders, as well as a jump in shooting incidents and shooting victims. Meanwhile, four districts (18th, 19th, 20th and 24th ) haven’t had any murders in 2020.
  • Chicago police officers have seized more than 1,500 guns already this year. That’s nearly 100 more guns taken in by CPD officers this year compared to same period in 2019. The figure includes 81 assault weapons seized in just two months.
  • Four districts (17th, 19th, 24th and 25th) have posted the lowest or matched their lowest number of motor vehicle thefts since 2000.
  • Four districts (4th, 7th, 12th and 22nd) have had their lowest or matched their lowest number of aggravated batteries in February since 2000.


Taskforce to combat carjackings

Following a spike in carjackings in the first months of 2020, the Chicago Police Department announced

the return of its joint-federal taskforce to increase cross-agency coordination and establish a multi-faceted plan to address vehicle hijackings. In 2018, when similar crime trends were occurring, the

taskforce developed policing strategies and targeted state and federal prosecutions, which reduced carjackings citywide to a record six-year low.

As part of the re-established taskforce, the department is deploying more officers on the street in community areas that have seen an increase in carjackings.