Police tout 50 percent decline in shootings in North Lawndale, Little Village

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Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) credited Ogden District officers and the district commander’s strategy for a 50 percent drop in shootings compared to the first three months of 2018. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

The Chicago Police Department’s Ogden District on the West Side is no stranger to shootings, encompassing some of the most historically violent parts of the city.

On Wednesday, though, the district’s leadership announced that shootings were down by 50 percent in 2019 compared to the first three months of last year.

Between January and March, 20 shootings were recorded in the district, which covers North Lawndale and Little Village. In that same time period a year earlier, 40 shootings were logged by police.

Citywide, shootings are down by 17 percent compared to the first three months of 2018, according to CPD data.

District leaders attribute the substantial drop in gun violence to partnerships between police and community leaders, predictive analytics, the operational strategy of District Cmdr. James Sanchez and the execution of that plan by the district’s officers.

“At the end of the day, it’s clearly what the commander has implemented, that the officers are out there actually doing their job and they’re working hard, making sure that our communities are safe,” Capt. Gilberto Calderon told reporters.

Asked if the decrease in violence would have any impact on the crime-fighting strategy, Calderon said: “Why fix something that’s not broken? Right now you see that the operational plan that Cmdr. Sanchez has in place is working. So I think, moving forward, that is the way to go.”

In 2018, the Ogden District saw 34 murders and 142 nonfatal shootings, according to police data. A year earlier, there were 46 murders and 192 nonfatal shootings.

Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) — who Calderon said is “an excellent supporter” of Ogden District officers — spoke highly of the district’s efforts to respond to criminal activity in the area.

“They are out here with outdoor roll calls in the summer. They’re at block clubs,” Scott said. “They’re doing the things that the community wants to see and the reason that the numbers are down is because of them.”

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