After being the talk of the media for the past year, Chicago's murder rate has finally begun to drop. According to ABC Chicago, the city's murder rate has reached its lowest since the 1950s. Though local law enforcement credits this to an increased presence in historically violent neighborhoods, everyone from community leaders to politicians is praying that homicides remain low for the rest of the year.
After an exceptionally violent January, Chicago's murder rate dropped by 50 percent in February and a reported 75 percent in March. Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy believes it's a good sign. "It's only one quarter but it follows a successful fourth quarter last year," he says.
Urban translator an ex-gang member Wallace "Gator" Bradley says that a message from not only police, but also incarcerated gang members is beginning to resonate with gangs. "They're realizing now that there's a consequence for your action," he says.
Visits from President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have helped, as well. Following their trips to the city earlier this year, the number of homicides dropped dramatically. However, neither McCarthy nor Mayor Rahm Emanuel are comfortable saying the problem is solved.
Crime—particularly violent crime—tends to increase as the temperature does. Let's hope that warm weather doesn't lead to an uptick in violence.