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Chicago Violence Tamed By Anti-Gang Efforts, But The Problem Is Still Very Far From Solved

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Police investigate a homicide scene after a 24-year-old man was found dead with a gunshot to his back along a sidewalk in the Lawndale neighborhood on December 15, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images ) | Scott Olson via Getty Images

CHICAGO (AP) — A year ago, Chicago's closely watched battle with street gangs sunk to perhaps its lowest point when Michelle Obama came home for the funeral of a teenage honor student.

After the end of the city's bloodiest January in more than a decade, Obama stood in a church mourning 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who had been shot dead in a gang dispute she had nothing to do with.

Since then, the number of homicides and other violent crimes that turned Chicago into a national symbol of gun violence have fallen sharply.

City officials insist the numbers are evidence that changing police tactics and creating and expanding after-school jobs and mentoring programs for young people are paying off.

Others wonder if it's the result of spending nearly $100 million on police overtime.

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