The Chicago Police Department reached a goal it set earlier this year to increase safety citywide. On Thursday, the department celebrated a 19 percent drop in robberies for 2018 compared to last year. The decrease marks the lowest levels across 10 of the department's 22 police districts in 18 years.
"When we have a reduction like this, we're really pleased about that because that really impacts the citizens, the everyday citizens in the city," First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio said, according to WLS-TV. "These impact everyday people, people who are good people, legitimate people going about their daily lives."
So far this year, the city has seen 9,458 robberies, down from 11,653 reported at the same time last year, according to its latest crime report.
Officials said Thursday during a news conference that the decline could be partly credited to the department's "targeted robbery suppression campaign centered around the holidays."
"CPD's proactive robbery enforcement teams are made up of plainclothes officers and have been focused on areas that have been historical hot spots for robberies," Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told WBBM-TV in an email.
More than 45 robbery suspects have been arrested over the past week, police said.
"What we see with robberies is they are pattern crimes so the guy that goes out that commits a robbery today is probably going to commit a robbery tomorrow and the next day until we take him into custody," Riccio said.
Were there other reductions in crime?
Murders were also down by 15 percent this year, according to the crime report ending Dec. 23.
There have been 555 murders reported in 2018. Last year, 654 murders were reported over the same period.
Burglaries were down by 10 percent over the prior year, with 11,547 reported in 2018 and 12,818 reported in 2017.
There was a slight reduction in theft, 1 percent, and car theft was down by 11 percent over the year before.
Were there any increases in crime?
There have been 2,115 sexual assault crimes reported this year, which is an increase of 7 percent over last year. In 2017, 1,979 sexual assault crimes were reported.
Aggravated assault was up 1 percent in 2018.
The department acknowledged its campaign's success but also admitted there's still more work to be done.
"While significant progress has been made, CPD acknowledges that much more work remains to make neighborhoods safer," Guglielmi said.