Arrests in Chicago, Illinois, were down 28 percent from last year. Police issued roughly 50,000 arrests through mid-December of this year compared to 69,000 in 2015. The city is also on track to have the lowest number of arrests since 2001, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday.
Chicago’s up-to-date arrest total in 2016 is less than half of the number made in 2010; the year prior to current Mayor Rahm Emanuel taking office.
Arrests have fallen in each major crime area, including theft and aggregated assault with a handgun. Narcotic-related arrests decreased more than any other type of crime, which the Sun-Times linked to new legislation that decriminalized the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana introduced earlier. Police in Chicago were projected to make roughly 4,200 arrests for misdemeanor pot possession in 2016, compared to 20,000 five years ago.
The police’s main concern had been to curb the level of gun violence that has devastated the city, Superintendent Eddie Johnson told the Chicago Sun-Times. He said he also hoped to improve relations between members of the community and local law enforcement.