CHICAGO — The city's top cop touted the thousands of gun seizures so far this year as a sign of progress in protecting Chicago from homicides and other violent gun crimes.
The Chicago Police Department has seized more than 2,100 firearms in the first 16 weeks of 2013, Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said in a statement Monday.
“As we target guns, gangs, and drugs through strategic policing we are continuing to deliver
progress by reducing violence and overall crime in Chicago,” McCarthy said. “We will continue to work together with the community, residents, clergy and local organizations to protect the public and keep illegal firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminals.”
McCarthy did not say in the statement how the number of weapons seized this year compared to the same time period last year, but in January, he noted that in all of 2012, 7,400 guns were confiscated by cops.
City officials have also touted figures showing that the city has racked up fewer homicides this year when compared to the first few months of last year.
In March, for example, murders in the city decreased more than 69 percent compared to March 2012. Sixteen people were killed in March 2013, while 52 were killed in March 2012. In February, the number of murders dropped 48 percent — 14 were killed in 2013 compared with 27 murders in 2012.
McCarthy has attributed the decrease partly to a shift in police strategy, which includes increasing foot patrols in dangerous neighborhoods and trying to build more community relationships. He's called the decreased numbers progress, but not victory.
In 2012, the city saw more than 500 murders.
The homicide count reflects people killed in shootings as well victims of stabbings and other kinds of violent assault.