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January Murders Reach 9-Year Low In Chicago; Fewest Robberies And Burglaries In 20 Years

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago police said crime was down big time last month, with only 20 murders in January, the lowest total for the month since 2010.

It's a huge reduction from 2016, when there were 53 murders in January, as violent crime in Chicago spiked that year, ending with more than 700 murders for the first time in 20 years. Murders have dropped every January since then.

It's not just murders that saw a significant drop in January. Police said there were 100 shootings in January, the lowest for that month in the past five years. Robberies and burglaries also were the lowest for January in 20 years.

"It's not cause for celebration, but of course it's progress," Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said.

The superintendent said three factors helped achieve those results: hiring more officers, implementing new crime-fighting technology, and improving community relations.

"Now we make community policing a core philosophy of the department, instead of just a strategy. So all police officers now engage in some form of community policing, and I think that's helped," Johnson said.

In particular, Johnson pointed to the department's new use of force policy, which was implemented in 2017, after two rounds of public comment.

"So the citizens of this city helped shape our use of force policy, and I think that's important," Johnson said.

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