CHICAGO (STMW) - Three hours before the end of the year, interim Chicago Police Supt. John Escalante announced Thursday night that Chicago had seen a “significant” increase in murders and shootings over the previous year, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
In 2015, there were over 50 more murders than in 2014, he said.
The last two months of the year were particularly difficult between the police department and the community, he said, noting the release of the police dashcam video of the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by Officer Jason Van Dyke.
“We have a lot of work to do in some communities in the city of Chicago to rebuild trust,” Escalante said at a press conference outside the 18th District Police station.
But in other areas, such as criminal sexual assault and robbery, the crime rates have gone down 37 percent from where the city was four years ago, he said.
“That’s credit to the men and women of the Chicago Police Department,” Escalante said.
The department will work with the mayor’s task force and the Department of Justice in the coming year, Escalante said.
After speaking to reporters, Escalante headed into a roll call meeting to brief officers heading out for the New Year’s Eve shift.
“Hopefully it is going to be a safe night and everyone can celebrate the New Year,” Escalante said.