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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 24th, 2014
06:06 PM ET

Chicago's top cop calls accusations of finessed murder statistics 'nonsense'

(CNN) – Chicago is one of America's greatest cities, and one of it's most violent.

According to the Chicago Police Department's latest crime statistics, the city's homicide rate is down significantly from one year ago – in fact, it is the lowest it has been since 1965.

The department focuses resources on mostly gang-related violence in the south and west sides of the city, says Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, who attributes the department's success to organization.

"We're running this department more like a business, perhaps more than other departments in the country," says McCarthy. "We're pushing down the resources, we're pushing down the authority and the accountability to the right people, and we're putting the right people in those seats, and holding them accountable for what's happening."

A recent Chicago Magazine report accused the department of reclassifying homicides to skew the numbers to make it look as though violent crime is dropping, a report the department dismisses.

"It's absolute nonsense," says McCarthy, pointing to inaccurate statements from anonymous sources.

For example, says McCarthy, "somebody says that I changed the policy on how we record murders that occur on the highways in the city of Chicago. And it's patently false. I can show you the policy change that was created in 1985."

Read the Chicago Inspector General’s audit of the department’s classification and summary reporting for assault-related crimes in 2012 here.

"I'm real confident that we're going to stand up to any scrutiny," says McCarthy. "Ultimately we're accountable to the uniform crime report, which is a national standard."

Over the past few weeks, CNN has tried to delve deeper into the problems plaguing inner-city Chicago and what's being done to solve them in the eight-part series "Chicagoland."

The series has helped to expose some of the problems that contribute to the epidemic of gun violence in the city, says McCarthy, but he emphasizes this problem is national in scope.

"It's not just the proliferation of gun violence in Chicago. It's the same issue in Detroit, it's the same issue in Philadelphia, it's the same issue in any urban center across this country," said McCarthy.

"It's cold comfort for people when we have a week like we had last week, where there was a lot of gun violence," said McCarthy. "This is progress, not success, and we've got an awful lot of work to do here."

The "Chicagoland" series finale airs at 10 p.m. ET tonight on CNN.

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