Weis: Chicago Homicides Fell To Lowest Level Since 1965

The good news from Chicago Breaking News:

Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis largely credited computerized research that helps police determine where violent crimes are likely to occur for what he called a historic drop in homicides in 2010.

Homicides fell to 435, the city’s lowest total in almost half a century and a 5.4 percent drop from 460 in 2009. That marked the fewest murders since Chicago recorded 395 homicides in 1965, Weis said at a news conference today.

The historically low numbers come as the department has tried to battle an image problem that violence is out of control in Chicago.

Overall, violent crimes — including rape, robbery and assault — fell about 10 percent in 2010. Property crimes overall dropped 2.6 percent, although motor-vehicle thefts soared more than 22 percent.

Weis attributed much of the decline in violent crimes to the implementation of "predictive analytics," computerized research that enables the department to shift officers to neighborhoods identified as hotbeds of violence.

"We really wanted to try to deploy our resources where they need to be and when they need to be there," he told reporters. "We really improved our intelligence capability."