Just like there's shared responsibility when things go wrong, in cases like this where things improve, there's shared credit. Mayor Bloomfield certainly deserves his share. Of course there are many factors, but decreasing gun availability is one of them.
There were days upon days in New York City when not a single person was murdered in 2009. Two such stretches, in February and March, lasted nearly a week each.
There were some pockets of the city where homicide was a singular occurrence: 12 of the city’s 77 police precincts, in locations as varied as Hamilton Heights, in Upper Manhattan, and Park Slope, Brooklyn, had logged one each through Sunday.
The story line of murder in New York is one that has been undergoing constant revision since 1963, when the Police Department began tracking homicides in a way that officials now deem reliable. (Before then, homicides were not counted until they were solved.) There have been rises — the number peaked at 2,245 in 1990 — and subsequent falls. But there have never been as few homicides as this year.
The city is on track, for the second time in three years, to have the fewest homicides in a 12-month period since the current record keeping system began. As of Sunday, there had been 461; the record low was in 2007, when there were 496 for the entire year.
What's your opinion? Is New York City becoming safer and safer? Is it now the safest big city in America, as we read in another report recently?
Curbing gun use is linked to lowering the homicide rate, officials said, and Mr. Kelly lauded the mayor’s effort to stop illegal guns from flowing into New York, saying 90 percent of the guns that are confiscated after they are used in crimes come from out of state. He also cited the department’s program of questioning and frisking some people on the streets as a “lifesaving” strategy that had led to the seizure of 7,000 weapons this year, including 800 guns.
“We have a policy of engagement, and I think it’s working,” Mr. Kelly said. “We believe young people who may have a gun think twice before they take it out on the street.”
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