CHICAGO—Having tallied a “very promising” 41 murders so far in 2013, police officials confirmed Tuesday that the annual Chicago Homicide Drive was off to its fastest start in more than a decade and was already well on its way to reaching this year’s goal for violent slayings. “It’s still January, but we’ve already seen an astounding number of contributions to this year’s murder drive,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters as he raised the red progress line on the Homicide Drive’s Murdometer, a 15-foot plywood silhouette of a gunned-down body that stands outside City Hall. “I don’t think anyone dreamed it would be possible to break last year’s staggering total of 506 murders, but with so many people chipping in all across the city, we may just do it. There’s a tremendous community-wide level of interest and participation in this yearly event, which is quickly becoming a treasured part of Chicago culture.” While McCarthy said he remained confident that Chicagoans would set a new Homicide Drive record this year, he cautioned that the city was beginning to face a shortage of potential victims in many of its highest-contributing neighborhoods.