Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Tom Weisner

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Aurora's Crime Fighting Results In 0 Murders In 2012

For the first time in six decades, Aurora did not record a single murder during the 2012 calendar year, marking another major milestone in the city’s efforts to reduce crime.

“This accomplishment demonstrates again that Aurora is among the safest large and diverse communities across the nation,” Mayor Tom Weisner said.  “The combination of a world-class police force working with community groups, city leaders, and law enforcement agencies has resulted in reducing crime to record-lows.”

“While we take great pride in this accomplishment, we will not be resting on our laurels since we always strive to make Aurora’s streets a safe place for children and their families,” Chief of Police Greg Thomas said. 

The last calendar year without a recorded murder was 1946, when Aurora’s population was about 48,000 people.  Aurora’s major crime rate has seen significant declines over the past decade even while the city’s population grew to 199,672 making it Illinois’ second largest city.  Aurora’s population increased by nearly 55,000 people from 2000 and 2010; at the same time, major crime has dropped from 42.1 to 22.1 per 1,000 people.

The violent crime rate has decreased more than 30 percent from 2006 to 2011 and more than 50 percent in the past decade.  After 26 murders were committed in 2002 – many attributed to gang violence – Aurora’s increased safety efforts have brought positive change with those numbers dropping to about two murders per year between 2008 to 2011, and zero in 2012.  Recorded firearm discharges also have decreased from 357 in 1996 to 61 in 2012.

In an effort to combat gang violence, the City established many community partnerships with neighborhood groups and community organizations to discuss what could be done to reduce crime.  As a result, residents are more apt to report suspicious activity to police, which leads to a greater amount of arrests and prosecutions. 

The Police Department also sought assistance from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms and Explosives and other federal agencies to conduct RICO investigations into drug and weapons cases resulting in federal charges that have put more than 130 gang members behind bars, some serving life sentences.

City leaders, community groups and taxpayers supported investing millions of dollars to give Aurora police the advanced tools and technology they needed to fight crime in the 21st century, including a new state-of-the-art police headquarters.

Across City government, all employees were challenged to find ways to support the city-wide goal of reducing crime. From removing graffiti and fixing broken streetlights within hours to reporting suspicious activity and broken windows, all City departments are now engaged in keeping crime down.

“We have found that there is no single program that will reduce violence, but instead we need to tackle crime on all fronts,” Chief Thomas added.  “Our police officers and support staff have done a great job executing our community-wide strategy.” 

Location: Aurora, Illinois

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Release Date—January 2nd, 2013