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December 17, 2013

‘Small world of murder’: As homicides drop, Chicago police focus on social networks of gangs

CHICAGO — It was an overcast noon, and 12 miles from the city’s sparkling core, Police Commander David McNaughton was ready for murder. His district on the southwest side responded to 39 killings last year, among the highest body counts in the city, which itself recorded 506 murders, the most in the nation. But instead of another bloody year, McNaughton has had to contend with a new surprise: peace and quiet.

“When people say stop and frisk is bad, well, no it’s not,” said the white-haired commander, handpicked to police the rancid, tumble-down stretches around Midway Airport. “We’re going to save their lives by talking to them.”

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