The city's murder rate has been at a record low all year, and new numbers show it has dropped considerably since 2012; over the first half of the year, the city's only seen 154 murders compared to last years' 252 murders. That's an average of fewer than one murder a day, and police officials are crediting everything from the NYPD's new anti-gang strategy to efforts to stop and monitor violence from abusive husbands for the decline.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has credited NYPD initiatives like Operation Crew Cut, which uses social media to catch gang members, and Operation Impact, which sends rookie police officers to violent areas in the city, for the murder rate decline. "In my business, in our business, this is miraculous," Kelly said yesterday. "These are lives that are being saved." Kelly has also previously credited the controversial stop-and-frisk program with a decrease in crime, but practice has actually been employed less than usual this year, and experts say it's not immediately clear why the murder numbers are going down.

"What we have now is good news without a ready explanation," Franklin Zimring, a law professor at UC-Berkeley, told the Wall Street Journal. And Robert Sampson, a sociology professor at Harvard, told the WSJ that the numbers were a "remarkable phenomenon" and "self-enforcing." "The more cities appear safe, the more people go to them and are on the streets and they become vibrant and therefore they regenerate," he said. Last year, the city saw a record-low murder rate, with 414 murders in all.