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Jefferson Park District Crime Is Down Since 2013, Data Shows

By Alex Nitkin | December 28, 2016 5:54am

FAR NORTHWEST SIDE — Overall reported crime fell in the Jefferson Park police district by about 17 percent between 2013 and 2016, driven in large part by a drop in reported drug crimes, city data shows.

Reported drug crimes plummeted from 823 in 2013 to 245 in 2016. District officers made just 85 arrests this year for possession of less than 30 grams of cannabis, compared to 395 arrests in 2013.

In 2017, when possession of up to 10 grams of pot becomes a non-criminal offense across the state, those numbers will likely keep shrinking.

An alarming spike in violent crime jolted the city this year, and the number of murders here were national news.

In the district, there have been slight increases in some violent crimes since 2013. The number of reported assaults swelled by 7 percent during that period, while robberies shot up by about 27 percent.

Earlier this year, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson moved to assign more officers to the Jefferson Park district, after its ranks dipped below 200 city employees this summer, sparking public outcry.

Many residents reported feeling unsafe amid the diminished police presence.

Spanning 36 square miles from the Six Corners Shopping District to O'Hare Airport, the Jefferson Park district is the city's largest.

It comprises 13 separate beats, including five inside the airport. This map shows the boundaries of each beat.

In beat 1614, which includes all city territory (not including the airport) north of Irving Park Road and west of Canfield Avenue, assaults stayed relatively steady while robberies spiked and drug arrests nearly vanished.

The northern section of the Norwood Park neighborhood consistently registered less crime than nearly any other beat in the city. In four years, just seven robberies were reported in the area.

Beat 1631, which covers most of Dunning, saw reported robberies nearly quadruple from 2013 to 2016, while burglaries fell by more than 25 percent.

The beat that includes the Jefferson Park Transit Center saw little change over the years, aside from an eye-popping crash in drug crimes, from 119 in 2013 to just 22 in 2016.

A similar trend played out in beat 1633, the section of Portage Park between Long Avenue and Narragansett Avenue.

To see how crime patterns changed in each beat, check out DNAinfo's interactive map.

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