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CPD Supt. David Brown wants to keep Chicago under 300 murders in 2020

The city hasn’t seen fewer than 300 murders in a single year since 1957.

Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks to reporters after Mayor Lori Lightfoot nominated him to be Chicago’s next police superintendent.
Chicago Police Supt. David Brown
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times file

Chicago Police Supt. David Brown has an historically high goal for 2020: Keeping Chicago’s annual murder total under 300 for the first time in more than 60 years.

Brown posed the challenge to department brass earlier this week, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police records show the city hasn’t seen fewer than 300 murders in a single year since 1957. As of April 26, the department had opened 149 murder cases in 2020, a slight uptick from 2019, with the traditionally violent summer months just around the corner.

Brown didn’t deny he posed the challenge to his top staff when asked at a news conference Thursday to announce the planned reopening of two detective areas on the West and Northwest sides,

“Our goal is policing excellence,” Brown said. “Our goal is exceptionalism in policing. Our goal is building trust in the community and we are dedicated to achieving that goal in a way where Chicagoans can be proud of [the city’s] police department. That’s our goal.”

Brown wants Chicago to “become the safest big city in the country, bar none. Others might be afraid to speak of such lofty goals for fear of falling short.” Brown pointed out that President John F. Kennedy faced some ridicule during his push to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.

Like the two reopened detectives areas, the push to hold murders to 300 a year isn’t a new idea. In late 2017, former CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson told the Sun-Times he believed 300 murders a year in Chicago was “a reasonable goal.”