Felony cases down in Kane, following national trend
The number of felony cases filed by the Kane County state's attorney's office in 2014 is down slightly from 2013 but is about 21 percent smaller than the number filed in 2011, Joe McMahon's first full year in office.
McMahon says the drop in felony cases is part of a national trend of reduced crime and prosecutors still have the same policies in place when authorizing felony charges when called by police on serious cases.
"We're saying yes (to felony charges) about the same percentage of time," he said Tuesday at his monthly media briefing. "The trend regionally and nationally has been a decrease in crime. This is not unique to Kane County."
Last year, 2,258 felony cases were authorized in Kane County.
That's a drop of about 3 percent from 2013, when 2,329 cases were filed.
In 2011, McMahon's office authorized 2,909 felony cases. The high in Kane was logged at 3,849 felony cases in 2007, and the 2014 total was about 41 percent lower than that.
McMahon promised a more in-depth look at felony cases and other types of crimes when his office releases its annual report this spring.
Last year, seven defendants were charged in six murder cases in Kane County, McMahon said.
Eight homicides were reported last year in Aurora, which is predominantly in Kane but also in DuPage, Kendall and Will counties. Kane County investigators are still examining four unsolved murder cases in Aurora and one in Elgin, McMahon said.
In 2012, Aurora did not have a single murder for the first time since 1946.
McMahon credited police in Elgin and Aurora for reaching out to communities and taking a proactive approach to fight crime and to build trust.
He also cited community involvement in contributing to the downward trend in homicides in both cities the last five years.
"The police departments are not just going into neighborhoods when there's a problem," McMahon said. "Obviously, zero (homicides) would be great every year, but none of us expect that. It's just an unfortunate reality of an urban center."