Out of Control?

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has characterized violent crime in Chicago as “out of control”:

CHICAGO — As Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday signed a new law that will put in place tougher penalties for selling guns to minors, he also announced he’s got a new idea to help combat the violence that Chicago is experiencing: he’s talking to the Illinois State Police and the National Guard to see if they could help.

The Chicago Sun-Times depicted Blagojevich as the “new sheriff in town” Thursday morning in its coverage of the governor’s plan to form an “elite tactical team” to help the city fight crime.

“Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control,” Blagojevich said at the bill signing ceremony. “I’m offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence,” said the governor.

The summer of 2008 will be remembered as especially violent. Blagojevich said there’s been a child shot nearly every day since June 26, with 29 Chicago Public School students shot since last fall.

Really? According to the crime reports filed in the City of Chicago from June 17 to July 17 (today) there have been 34 homicides. During the same period last year there were 45 homicides. Year-to-date homicides are up roughly 12% over last year. Last year they were down by roughly that number from 2006. There are a lot of murders in Chicago but I don’t see the trend.

9 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    I wonder if the neighborhoods are changing? The Atlantic had an interesting article this month on the dispersion of crime into traditionally safe neighborhoods as a result of demolition of housing projects.

    Not that I don’t think the Governor is a flake, but he may be reacting to perceptions from constituents that crime is getting worse “here.”

  • kreiz Link

    I hear Rudy G’s out of work. Chicago needs to call him.

    Call me old fashioned , but 34 murders-to-date should shake things up a bit, even in a major city.

  • Chicago has had around 250 homicides a year for decades.

  • Baltimore is a city of 600,000 and hasn’t had a murder rate of under 200 in at least 20 years, if not longer. (For a while this year, it looked like the murder rate would be under 200 this year, but I think the killing’s picked up a bit recently.)

    And for the 90’s under the incompetent leadership of Kurt Schmoke Baltimore’s murder rate was over 300.

    Incidentally, while NY’s murder rate declined dramatically under Giuliani, it has decrease even further under Bloomberg.

  • Chicago is more than three times that size, soccer dad.

  • Dave — is the Gov up for re-election this year? That could be the trend that you are looking for…

  • Nope. He’s not up for re-election. But the federal prosecutor is circling closer and closer, he’s not a popular figure with state legislators, and he and the mayor are at daggers drawn.

    It’s even money whether he makes it to the end of his term.

  • PD Shaw Link

    On a violent crime per capita basis, Chicago is not near the top of the list of dangerous cities — Instapundit’s insinuations aside. In Illinois, that city is probably East St. Louis. Across the border, ripe for invasion by the Illinois National Guard, St. Louis usually ranks high.

  • According to the Chicago PD, there’s actually been a drop in violent crime in Chicago from last year to this.

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