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Aurora Ends 2012 With No Murders

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 2, 2013 11:25PM

Photo credit: Terry Spirek
Chicago ended a bloody, violent 2012 with 506 murders; to paraphrase Scarlett Johansson in Marvel's The Avengers, that's a lot of red in the ledger. What about Illinois' second-largest city?

Would you believe Aurora continued a downward trend in its murder rate and actually reported no murders last year? It's true. It's the first time since 1946 Aurora hasn't reported a murder.

Not that Aurora was like a frontier town in the Wild West before. The city reported 25 murders in 2002 and only 11 people were murdered in Aurora between 2009 and 2011. But the city has had to battle a reputation for being dangerous and Police Chief Greg Thomas said the murder tally goose egg is an indication initiatives to combat that perception are working.

Thomas said improved intelligence sharing with state and federal authorities on gangs, working relationships with community groups and identifying at-risk youths most susceptible to joining street gangs has helped immensely with the decline in the town's murder rate. Thomas told the Daily Herald those programs will stay in place for the foreseeable future in the hopes they can keep Aurora's murder rate nonexistent.