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Chicago Murders Drop 42 Percent

By//Jessica Paris

Brighter days may be ahead for the city of Chicago, despite a gloomy start to the new year. NBCNews.com reports that after Chicago topped the list of the nation’s most deadliest cities with 506 murders in 2012, killings and shootings are down 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively, in comparison to the first quarter of last year.

This news may come as a surprise as the city was hit with one of the most murderous January’s it had seen in a decade, with the month claiming 52 lives, including Hadiya Pendleton’s, a teenager who’s story garnered national attention when she was slain just days after performing at President Obama’s inauguration in Washington, DC. March, in particular, saw a dramatic downturn in the city’s violence with 69 percent less murders and 36 fewer people killed than in March of last year. But it was also that same month that a bullet took the life of innocent 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins, who’s father was the intended target of a gang-related shooting that left the city wondering “How many more?”

Now, it looks as though officials are trying to implement new initiatives to address the issue. NBCNews.com reports that the Chicago Police Department has more officers patrolling the streets and City Hall has put more after-school and summer job programs in place to give youth something to do and to deter them from gang-life.

Although all of this is encouraging news, CPD Superintendent Garry McCarthy lets us know the fight against gun violence is far from over. “These numbers are progress…,” says Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “…But they are by no means victory.”