Greising: Violent Crime Surge Abates, but CPD’s Road to Reform Remains Rocky

When it comes to reform, Chicago police and their boss, David Brown, still have a long way to go.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown holds a press conference where he vowed to step up measures to curb gun violence following yesterday's meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on July 13, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

The surge in violent crime that began in 2020 has seemed almost unrelenting, so when numbers for the first quarter of 2022 came out, they offered a reprieve.

Homicides were down, according to city data. Shootings were down. So were the number of shooting victims. Down by double digits in some cases.

How nice it would be to look behind those statistics and find the Chicago Police Department finally getting a handle on fighting violent crime, after a two-year spike of historic proportion. As police Superintendent David Brown finished his second full year on the job, is he at last conjuring the right combination of strategy, tactics and leadership to begin making progress?

Not so fast: Even as the new data began taking shape, two separate catalogs of statistics and analysis about the Chicago Police Department informed us that Brown, and CPD, still have a long way to go.

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