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NEW YORK — “Thanks to smart policing, tough gun laws, and heroic work by the men and women of the NYPD, we’ve driven crime down to historic lows in the City. It’s down by 33 percent since 2001 – and last year, the Finest helped us reach a record low for murders and a record low for shootings. That was a remarkable achievement – but halfway through this year, I’m happy to say we’re on pace to break both of those records by a significant amount in 2013. Murders are down by 29 percent since last year, and shootings are also down by 29 percent.
“That great news isn’t isolated to a few neighborhoods – every borough has gotten far safer. Two decades ago, Manhattan’s Upper East Side was considered one of the safest parts of the City. Today, nearly every single precinct in the City has fewer violent crimes than the Upper East Side did back then.
“Consider the Bronx, which two decades ago was one of the most violent places in the nation: In 1990, the year when our City had its most homicides, there were 651 murders in the Bronx. Last year, there were 114 – and this year, murders in the Bronx are down another 36 percent compared to last year. In fact, this year, for the first time since 1966, when Mickey Mantle was in centerfield at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx is on pace to have fewer than 100 homicides. To put that turnaround in perspective, consider how the Bronx today compares to some of the nation’s big cities. The Bronx has slightly more residents than Dallas, Texas – but while the Bronx had 32 murders in the first half of 2013, Dallas had 71; more than twice as many. The Bronx has about the same number of people as the City of Philadelphia – but Philadelphia had 116 murders through July 1st, nearly four times as many as the Bronx did. The Bronx is twice the size of Detroit – but Detroit had 153 murders in the first half of this year, almost five times as many as there were in the Bronx.
“It’s not only the Bronx that’s getting safer by the day – for example, look at Brooklyn. Last year, for the first time since the early 1960s, Brooklyn had fewer than 150 homicides. And this year, like the Bronx, it’s on pace to have even fewer. Brooklyn has roughly the same population as the whole city of Chicago – but in the first half of 2013, there were 188 murders in Chicago, more than double Brooklyn’s total of 71. Brooklyn has about four times as many people as Baltimore – but through July 1st of this year, Baltimore had 117 murders compared to Brooklyn’s 71.
“By dramatically reducing murders over the past 10 years compared to the decade before, we’ve saved more than 7,300 lives. Yet as far as we’ve pushed violent crime down, we’ve always believed we can do better – and we have a responsibility to do just that. Every single life lost is a tragedy – and that’s why we won’t stop working to keep guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. But there’s no question we’ve come a long way – and that’s a big reason New York City is creating new jobs and businesses, welcoming new residents, and facing a bright future.
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