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updated: 4/3/2013 8:19 AM

March homicides drop 69 percent in Chicago

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Associated Press

Chicago officials say there were 70 homicides in the city during the first three months of 2013 -- 50 fewer than the same period last year when the slayings made national headlines.

The city's police department says there were 16 homicides in March, a 69 percent decline from the 52 homicides recorded in March 2012. Not only that, but police say the total of 120 slayings for the first quarter is the same as 2009. That ties for the lowest number since the first quarter of 1959.

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The drop in the number of killings began after a particularly deadly January. But it coincides with a police initiative launched in February that's put hundreds of officers working overtime on the streets.

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