Like other major industrial cities in the US, Chicago had a major rise in violent crime starting in the late 1960s. Like most major American cities, Chicago has also experienced a decline in overall crime since the early 1990s. Murders in the city peaked first in 1974, with 970 murders when the city’s population was over three million (resulting in a murder rate of around 29 per 100,000) and again in 1992 with 943 murders when the city had fewer than three million people, resulting in a murder rate of 34 per 100,000. Following 1992, the murder count slowly decreased to 641 by 1999. That year it still had the most murders of any big city in the U.S.
After adopting crime-fighting techniques in 2004 recommended by the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York City Police Department, Chicago recorded 448 homicides, the lowest total since 1965. This murder rate of 15.65 per 100,000 population is still above the U.S. average, an average which takes in many small towns and suburbs.
This homicide rate is similar to that of Los Angeles in 2004 (13.4 per 100,000) and twice that of New York City (7.0 per 100,000). Chicago’s homicide tally increased slightly in 2005 and 2006 to 450 and 467, respectively, though the overall crime rate in 2006 continued the downward trend that has taken place since the early 1990s, with 2.5% fewer violent crimes and 2.4% fewer property crimes compared to 2005.
Chicago was among one of the first U.S. cities to build an integrated emergency response center to coordinate the city’s response to natural disasters, gang violence and terrorist attacks. Built-in 1995 the center is integrated with more than 2000 cameras, communications with all levels of city government and a direct link to the National Counterterrorism Center. Police credited surveillance cameras with contributing to decreased crime in 2004. The Chicago Police Department developed to provide city residents with a tool to assist in problem-solving and combating crime and disorder in their neighborhoods. It is based upon the CLEAR (Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting) system developed by the Department for use by its police officers. This web application enables citizens to search the Chicago Police Department’s database of reported crime. Individuals will be able to see maps, graphs and tables of reported crime. The database contains 90 days of information, which can be accessed in blocks of up to 14 days. Data is refreshed daily, however, the most recent information is always 6 days old. CLEAR
But wait, Illinois became the last state to legalize the private, licensed carry of concealed firearms on Tuesday July 9, 2013 with the General Assembly overriding Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto before a court-ordered deadline. Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
The Detroit Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit has reported that crimes have dropped by 24 percent since the introduction of casino gaming to the city. The number of homicides peaked in 1974 at 714 and again in 1991 with 615. By the end of 2010, the homicide count fell to 308 for the year with an estimated population of just over 900,000, the lowest count and rate since 1967. By 2012, however, the murder rate had rebounded to 411. According to a 2007 analysis, Detroit officials noted that about 65 to 70 percent of homicides in the city were confined to a narcotics catalyst.
In 2007 Detroit had been named the most dangerous city in the country by the Morgan Quitno report published by CQ Press, a private group whose report is denounced by the American Society of Criminology as an “irresponsible misuse” of crime data.
In April 2008 the city unveiled a $300-million stimulus plan to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods, financed by city bonds and paid for by earmarking about 15% of the wagering tax. The city’s plans for revitalization include 7-Mile/Livernois, Brightmoor, East English Village, Grand River/Greenfield, North-End, and Osborn. Private organizations have pledged substantial funding to neighborhood revitalization efforts. The city had faced many cases of arson each year on Devil’s Night, the evening before Halloween. The Angel’s Night campaign, launched in the late 1990s draws many volunteers to patrol the streets during Halloween week. The effort reduced arson while there were 810 fires set in 1984, this was reduced to 742 in 1996. In recent years, fires on this three-night period have dropped even further. In 2009 the Detroit Fire Department reported 119 fires over this period, of which 91 were classified as suspected arson.
In the meantime here are some helpful tips from Chris Rock on how not to get your ass kicked by the police.