Chicago may have tallied astonishing homicide numbers in 2012--506 to be exact--but Illinois' second-largest city recorded an extraordinary figure of its own:
For the first time in six decades, Aurora went without a single homicide in 2012, according to the Tribune. A city of 200,000, roughly 40 miles west of Chicago, Aurora last hit the murder-free milestone in 1946.
The city's last reported homicide was on Dec. 21, 2011, reports The Associated Press, when a 21-year-old woman died in a domestic violence attack.
Aurora's population has surged in past years, reports the Sun-Times, yet the city has managed to curb the homicide rate through a mix of efforts from community groups, schools, local law enforcement and even help from the FBI.
The homicide rate in Aurora peaked in the 1990s, with a high of 26 murders in 1995 and 1996, reports the Sun-Times. Massive sweeps on gang members and drug dealers helped narrow the rate to two murders in 2011.
“We went through a lot of stuff to get there," Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas told the Sun-Times. "A lot of things had to come together inside and outside the department to make that happen.”
The state's third-largest city, Rockford, had 14 homicides in 2012, reports the AP, the city's lowest number since the 2004 total of eight.