As 2009 came to an end, New York City experienced a dramatic and historic decrease in violence. In nearly every crime category, and throughout all five of the city‘s boroughs, violent crimes were at an all-time low. This is “one for the record books,” Mayor Bloomberg stated, at a recent graduation ceremony for the NYPD‘s newest police officers.
According to the mayor‘s office, there have been 461 homicides to date on Monday [Dec. 28] in 2009. That number is down nearly 11 percent from the same time a year ago, with 516 murders recorded in 2008. Bloomberg said 2009 is on track to have the fewest murders in New York City’s history since reliable recordkeeping began in 1963.
Bloomberg believes that the drop in crime is the result of a combination of new technologies, strong management and increased police funding (mostly in the aftermath of 9/11) along with more stringent gun control and other law enforcement regulations. Special mention was also made of Operation Impact: “Started in January 2003, the operation floods troubled areas, known as ‘Impact Zones,’ with teams of rookie and veteran police officers. The program has allowed the police department to mass resources to provide security for those living in high-risk locations, Kelly said.”
There have never been fewer than 600 recorded murders annually in NYC prior to 2002 (in 1990, a record high occurred with 2,262 murders). Indeed, 2009 also marked the 19th straight year of a decline in felonious activity in general, according to the NYPD.
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