The city is on track for the lowest number of murders since reliable record-keeping began in 1962, according to the Times. As of Dec. 27, there have been 461 murders — 35 fewer than the record set in 2007. Twelve of the city's police precincts in areas ranging from Park Slope to Upper Manhattan recorded just one murder each, while the precinct that covers Central Park didn't log a single homicide, the paper reports.
Murders peaked in 1990 when police recorded 2,245 homicides in the city. Since 2001, as the NYPD has reduced its ranks by 6,000 officers, the number of murders has declined from 649 to this year's expected low. And if the record is broken this week, it will come during a year when many anticipated that the poor economy would lead to an uptick in crime. "The mantra of, 'Do more with less' is certainly a very important principle in the Police Department," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "And these numbers show it."
Guns remain the deadliest weapons in the city, followed by blades and blunt instruments, according to the Times. Mayor Bloomberg — who has long pushed to tighten gun regulations — touted the new figures. "People ask me, 'What are you most proud of?' and I point to crime being down, but at the same time, I point to the improving race relations in the city," Bloomberg said. "Today, people understand that crime is a bad thing, but it is not an ethnic thing or a race-based thing or a religious thing." According to less reliable stats, the city might log fewer murders this year than it has since the 1920s.