Chicago police say number of January homicides is lowest in 9 years

The Chicago Police Department announced Friday a rare crime stat success: the embattled city had the fewest number of January murders in the last nine years.

Police said there were 20 murders in January. The last time the city saw a lower number was in January 2010, when there were 19 homicides recorded.

“That’s the lowest figure for that same period in nine years,” police said in a press release.

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Police also announced there were 100 shootings in the city during the month, which marked "the lowest figure for the same month in the past five years,” the press release stated.

Chicago police said motor vehicle thefts, burglaries and robberies were the “lowest of that same period in 20 years since computer case reporting started.”

But the frigid temperatures may have been a factor in the crime freeze.

A record-breaking deep freeze from a polar vortex descended on the Midwest earlier this week, with temperatures in the city of Chicago dipping to a dangerous minus 20 degrees. The National Weather Service said Chicago’s streak of below zero temperature came to an end late Thursday after a bone-chilling 52 hours.

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The city has struggled with violence in recent years. Police in Chicago reported 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018 -- compared to 660 homicides in 2017 and more than 770 in 2016, which marked a 19-year high that put a national spotlight on Chicago’s persistently high rates of gun violence.

President Trump has often discussed Chicago’s high homicide rate, tweeting in 2017: “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’...I will send in the Feds!” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has accused Trump of oversimplifying the problem and potential solutions.

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace and Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.