My Town, Chi-Town

The Data Reporting Lab collaborated with Reveal, the public radio program for the Center for Investigative Reporting, to explore how Chicago’s trauma care system has profoundly affected the city’s homicide rate.

In this broadcast initially aired on Feb. 24, 2018, we discovered that although authorities count violent crimes and homicides each year, they don’t track the number of people who survive shootings. Based on the data we collected, a different picture emerges: Chicago owes its drop in gun deaths to better medical care, not different approaches to policing.

The Bleeding of Chicago

America’s third-largest city has built one of the world’s best trauma care systems. But that success might be obscuring the true scale of its gun violence. In this Feb. 24, 2018 story, the Data Reporting Lab collaborated with the Atlantic’s CityLab and Reveal, a podcast from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, to show how Chicago’s trauma care system has affected the city’s homicide rate. To listen to the full episode, go to

How Chicago’s Trauma Care Changed its Murder Rate – CityLab

Chicago’s Murder Problem Could Be Worse – Pacific Standard

More African-Americans apply to become cops, but few make it to finish line

In a Feb. 2, 2018 story for the Chicago Reporter, the Data Reporting Lab analyzed 5 years of police recruiting data to explain why, despite a successful push in 2016 to attract more black applicants to the police force, the Chicago Police Department has hired relatively few African-Americans.

The DRL showed that of more than 8,000 black applicants, nearly 30 percent didn’t show up for the written entrance exam, the first step in the recruitment process, while 17 percent failed the test, according to data analyzed by the Reporter. Many applicants who passed the test later dropped out of the process, which includes an extensive background check and physical, psychological and drug tests.