Still, the number of killings in the nation's third-largest city in 2017 remains higher than in almost any other year of the past decade -- and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said his officers know there's more to do.
"I would say ... we're making progress. ... But it's going to take time to root out everything we need to do," Johnson told reporters Friday outside a church on the city's southwest side.
Johnson also highlighted the following stats for the year's first 11 months as evidence the Windy City is making strides:
• 703 fewer shootings, a 21% decline from this point in 2016;
• 798 fewer shooting victims, a 20% decline.
"It's important to keep in mind these numbers aren't a spike of the football by any means," but an indication progress is being made, Johnson said.
"Definitely, it's going to take some time to translate into people feeling safer, but definitely, it's a positive start," Ervin told CNN affiliate WGN.
Crime-fighting investments made
Johnson said certain investments, including technology, have helped police tackle crime this year.
Those centers use predictive crime software that helps police commanders decide where to deploy officers. They also provide "additional cameras, gunshot detection systems, and mobile phones to officers in the field who receive real-time notifications and intelligence data at their fingertips," Chicago police say on their website.
The department also is in the midst of a hiring spree that will see the roster grow by 1,000 officers, Johnson said.
The task force includes an additional 20 ATF agents, as well as 12 Chicago police officers, two Illinois state troopers, six intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors.
Neighbors' lax gun laws cited
Also, cities such as Atlanta; Washington; Oakland, California; Memphis, Tennessee; and Kansas City, Missouri, all had higher violent crime rates in 2015.
"It's frustrating, because when you look at the crime in Chicago, we have our challenges. We have our gun violence," he said. "Chicago is so big that we get a lot of attention because New York and L.A., quite frankly, are seeing bigger reductions than we are."
Lax gun laws in surrounding states also put Chicago at a disadvantage, compared with New York and Los Angeles, Johnson said.
"We're sitting between Wisconsin and Indiana, who have very lax gun laws, so the illegal flow of guns coming into this city is a lot larger than theirs," he said. "That just means we have more illegal guns on our streets."
CNN's Ray Sanchez and Eliott C. McLaughlin