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2016 Chicago murder rate is highest in 19 years

Posted at 9:26 PM, Jan 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-01 21:26:43-05

Chicago marked 2016 as the deadliest year in 19 years, data released by the Chicago Police Department shows.

The city saw a surge in gun violence in 2016: 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according to a statement released by the department on Sunday.

There were 480 murders in 2015, the most in the city since 1997.

The bloodshed has brought trauma to the lives of thousands of people.

City police investigated 27 shooting incidents, 12 of which were fatal, just in the last week of December 2016.

Attacks on police officers nearly doubled in 2016, which represents a “completely unacceptable rise in violence,” the release said.

Police fight back

As part of plan to combat the rising homicide count, the Chicago Police Department will amp up its force in 2017.

In August, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner passed a gun control law that imposes stiffer penalties on anyone without a gun-owner identification card who brings a gun into the state intending to sell it.

Not all figures were negative. City officers made 10% more gun arrests in 2016 and confiscated 8,300 guns, a 20% increase from 2015, the release said.