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(Chicago Tribune) — When Chicago police release crime statistics for 2010 after the end of the year, violence is expected to be down across the city — even in the face of a major hiring slowdown of rank-and-file officers.  The decline might suggest public safety won’t be one of the major headaches facing Mayor Richard Daley’s successor, but the reality is more complicated.  While murders and shootings have fallen across the city, gun violence still clings mercilessly to some neighborhoods and in the process raises nagging questions about whether the Police Department deploys enough officers in the most crime-ridden districts. The new mayor will also inherit an image problem: Even though Chicago as a whole was safer in the last decade than in the 1990s or 1980s, the perception remains in the public eye that crime is virtually out of control.

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