Dramatic Drop

Evanston sees steep decline in crime rates

Dramatic Drop

While Chicago has a reputation as America’s most murderous city, Evanston’s crime and violence rate is seeing a change.

“Violent crime in Evanston in 2013 was down 20 percent compared to 2012,” says Evanston Police Commander Jay Parrott. “Those crimes are aggravated batteries/aggravated assaults and robberies.”

Usually when spring gets here more people are outside, which causes violent crime to increase, but it hasn’t been a big problem in Evanston.

“There is no specific indicators of a violent act occurring,” insists Parrott. “There is always an increase of activity when winter ends and spring begins. Generally disturbances that escalate into fights are the most common in the spring.”

Police are increasing their presence in the community to decrease the violence. Parrott also explains that violence in Evanston typically has no relation to that in Chicago.

However, some gang action occasionally overlaps from Rogers Park to Evanston. Chicago receives a lot of negative attention for being the “most murderous city”, however crime has reduced from 2012 to 2013 in Chicago as well.

“I think violent behavior can be prevented by starting education about anti-violence in elementary school,” says junior Colleen Wiechart.

The decrease in violence in the community is a big step in the right direction. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker argues that, historically, the generation of young people now is more peaceful than generations in the past.

“Our ancestors are far more violent than we are,” says Pinker. “Today we are probably living in the most peaceful time of our species existence.”

“I think awareness of violence is going up,” says sophomore Abby Rosenbaum.

Parrott encourages students to utilize the text-a-tip program should they have a concern about violence in the community. Officer Faison and Officer Maldonado work specifically at ETHS daily and are available for help with safety.