Chicago Murder Rate Up 35 Percent; Police Chief Reassigns Commanding Officers (VIDEO)

Chicago's Murder Rate Up 35 Percent This Year

Three months into 2012, Chicago has seen 114 homicides, representing a 35 percent spike in the city's murder rate compared to the same period last year.

In response, police Supt. Garry McCarthy announced a strategic shift Friday that involves rearranging command chains in five of the city's 23 districts.

The changes include new commanders in the Morgan Park, Grand-Crossing, Calumet, Marquette and Austin districts, some of which have been hard-hit with gang violence, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. McCarthy also named a new deputy chief of detectives, organized crime bureau and patrol to head the newly-created Central Area district.

In all, 25 members of the police force were promoted, CBS Chicago reports. The restructuring did not require any demotions or firings, but was in part the result of several districts being merged or consolidated, and staff retirements and promotions that predated Friday's changes.

McCarthy told the Sun-Times that the shuffling will “strengthen the department's ongoing efforts to reduce violence” and create a “more efficient departmental structure.”

This move is not McCarthy's first attempt to shake up the status quo within the CPD. In January he announced a new gang-focused initiative targeting the city's most violent neighborhoods that involved redeploying more than 100 police officers to Englewood and Harrison districts on the south and west sides by May.

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