The surge in violent crime that began in 2020 has seemed almost unrelenting, so when numbers for the first quarter of 2022 came out, they offered a reprieve.

Homicides were down, according to city data. Shootings were down. So were the number of shooting victims. Down by double digits in some cases.

How nice it would be to look behind those statistics and find the Chicago Police Department finally getting a handle on fighting violent crime, after a two-year spike of historic proportion. As police Superintendent David Brown finished his second full year on the job, is he at last conjuring the right combination of strategy, tactics and leadership to begin making progress?

Not so fast: Even as the new data began taking shape, two separate catalogs of statistics and analysis about the Chicago Police Department informed us that Brown, and CPD, still have a long way to go.

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David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.

Greising’s career started at the City News Bureau of Chicago, with stops at the Chicago Sun-Times, Business Week magazine, the Chicago Tribune and Reuters. He was a co-founder of the Chicago News Cooperative and worked briefly as a consultant to World Business Chicago. Today, Greising writes on government issues in regular columns for the Tribune and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Under Greising’s leadership, the BGA has played a key role in uncovering public corruption amidst the wide-ranging federal probe, starting with an in-depth report about Ald. Ed Burke’s conflicts of interest before the federal charges against Burke. The BGA also has exposed waste and fraud at O’Hare and the proliferation of corruption and poverty into Dolton, Lyons and other Chicago suburbs. The BGA’s policy team has led calls for ethics reform in Chicago’s City Council and in state government.