The Acting Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department told CNN that while the city is making great strides in reducing homicides from firearms, they still have a long way to go in order for residents and visitors to be safe.
The Chicago Tribune's homicide tracker showed the city experienced 515 total homicides in 2019, with the majority of them involving firearms. The number is down from 570 homicides in 2018, 675 in 2017, and 792 in 2016. With a majority of the homicides occurring in the South and West sides of the city, most of the victims are young, black men.
"What are some of the questions that you get about the city of Chicago, about crime in Chicago, and how do you answer those questions?" CNN reporter Omar Jimenez asked.
"To be brutally honest, it’s still not safe enough. 500 homicides is — even though that’s a nice milestone — it’s way too many," Acting Superintendent Charlie Beck said.
Beck's last position was serving as the Los Angeles police chief, but came out of retirement to replace former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson after he was fired by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot said Johnson had lied to the city about his drinking and driving incident from October. The Chicago Sun-Times reported multiple Chicago police employees are under investigation for allegedly helping cover up Johnson's incident.
"I know it seems difficult when you’re in the middle of this, but I have nothing but the most positive belief in the outcome of what we’re doing here," Beck added.
In contrast, cities such as St. Louis and Baltimore have experienced an increase in homicides in recent years.