A Tale of Two Cities

WBEZ in Chicago did an interesting series earlier this month comparing gun regulation, culture, and violence in the Windy City and Toronto.  Although the two cities are the same size, the levels of gun violence are strikingly different, as are the police clearance rates.  Here are the numbers:

■Toronto and Chicago both have a little less than 3 million residents. Toronto has 60 murders a year. Chicago has 450.

■There were 179 shooting deaths in all of Canada in 2009. Canada’s population was almost 34 million people. There were 376 shooting deaths in Chicago in 2009. The population of Chicago was less than 3 million.

■According to a Chicago Police Department annual report, in 2009 there were 461 murders and 160 clearances.

■The Chicago police department considers a case cleared when an offender has been arrested, charged and prosecuted or when the police are ready to arrest someone but something outside of the department’s control prevents an arrest from being made. The clearance rate is 34.7%. In Toronto in 2009 the clearance rate was 58.1% but they had fewer murders to solve. They cleared a total of 36 cases.

■The Chicago Police Department has more than 11,000 officers. Toronto has about 5,300.

■In 1992 there were 940 murders in the city. 651 of those murders were committed with firearms. The department cleared 683 cases.