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Official 2008 Crime Numbers in

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The murder rate was up fifteen percent last year according to crime statistics released today by the Chicago Police Department.

There were a total of 510 murders last year compared to 445 in 2007. But police point out that both those numbers are drastically lower than the early nineties when the rate hovered around 9 hundred killings per year. Superintendent Jody Weis says 72 percent of murder victims had prior records.

WEIS: It is what it is. You have people who are victims today, they’re being shot at. Tomorrow they turn into offenders. Perhaps they’re retaliating against someone trying to shoot them you know a few days earlier so it just goes on. It’s a circle. We have to put down the guns. It’s very simple, there’s too many guns on the streets of Chicago.

Weis says he’d like to see laws that would make it impossible for someone with a record, who’s caught with a loaded weapon to receive anything less than prison time.

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