ENGLEWOOD — Shootings have dropped 43 percent in Englewood this year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday.
Emanuel, speaking at the Englewood Police District headquarters, said there have been 130 fewer shootings so far this year compared to the same time period in 2016. The 43 percent drop was from Jan. 1- Oct. 16, compared to the same period last year, officials said.
Comparing this year to the same period in 2015, shootings are down 25 percent.
There have been no shootings in Englewood in the eight days leading up to Emanuel's announcement, the mayor said.
He shared the news while visiting the station at 1438 W. 63rd St. to celebrate the deployment of 82 more officers to the Englewood District. He was joined by Chicago Police Department officials and local pastors, residents and aldermen.
"I see a day where we won't need to measure how few shootings there were in Englewood, but how many graduates; not how few homicides, but how many new businesses,” Emanuel said.
Officials did not say how many officers total are now in the district, but in April there were 426, the city's Inspector General said.
Ald. Toni Foulkes (16th) said she's happy to see progress being made in Englewood. She said Englewood is much more quiet these days because she doesn't hear as many sirens.
"When I first became alderman people said the police don’t come," she said, adding that the police have since established a good working relationship with the community.
The Rev. Kevin Andre Brooks, pastor of Greater St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church, said the news was just confirmation that everyone's united efforts have begun to make a difference.
“It is an affirmation of our work," he said. "We said our goal was to create the safest summer ever and to raise awareness about the issue of violence and how block clubs, faith-based organizations, everybody can get involved. So it’s really a win-win for us.
And for Englewood to see steady improvement, there must be safe place for young people, Brooks said. He's been working on a number of initiatives to keep the neighborhood's children and teens occupied, year-round, he said.
Resident Association of Greater Englewood's president, Aysha Butler, works closely with the Englewood's Quality of Life's Public Safety Task Force. She said the community is excited about the progress, but it doesn't stop here.
"There's going to be a continuous dialog because change won’t happen overnight. We have to continue the conversation and keep residents involved," Butler said.
"I’m optimistic because the energy, in general, in Englewood is all about transformation right now," she said. "People are way more involved than I’ve seen in a long time, and they really value community-led issues."