Photo Courtesy of NYPD
Commissioner O’Neill said that after the historic 2017, the department will “continue deepening relationships with the public, emphasizing the shared responsibility we have to our safety.”
By Michael V. Cusenza
Gotham is the safest big city in the United States. And its police department has the numbers to back up that claim.
And thanks to three new crime-reduction benchmarks, 2017 was the safest 12 months in modern New York City history. According to the NYPD, last year marked the first time: the total number of murders has fallen below 300 (290 – the lowest per-capita murder rate in 70 years); the total number of index crimes has fallen below 100,000 (96,517); the total number of shooting incidents has fallen below 800 (789).
Additionally, several other index crime categories have achieved historic reductions, including: robbery, burglary, and grand larceny auto.
“I want New Yorkers to know, this is just the beginning,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “As our Neighborhood Policing vision deepens and residents work with police officers in common cause, the flow of information will stop crimes before they happen and we will continue to build trust between communities and law enforcement. This department never rests on its laurels and America’s safest big city will get even safer.”
Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill dubbed the historic decline a “New York miracle,” promising that his department will “continue deepening relationships with the public, emphasizing the shared responsibility we have to our safety. I am confident we can do more. And we will. It is an honor to lead this organization and be a part of the change we are seeing across the nation’s safest city.”
It was also one of the safest years on record for Queens. According to NYPD CompStat figures, in 2017, there were 50 murders in the World’s Borough – the second-lowest number of homicides in a single year since 1961.
Overall, Queens saw a 7.9-percent decline in serious felony crime in 2017, bolstered by an 18-percent drop in auto crimes; a 4.8-percent dip in robberies; a 3.1-percent drop in felony assaults; and a 1.9-percent drop in rapes.
Queens residents may be enjoying the safest period in its proud history, but the borough is by no means a utopia without blemishes.
“Although overall crime is historically at its lowest point in decades,” District Attorney Richard Brown noted, “it doesn’t negate the fact that we have been facing a new and increasingly deadly drug crisis in our communities over the last several years, namely, heroin mixed with the synthetic drug fentanyl – an opioid painkiller 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. These two drugs combined is a deadly cocktail. As a result, we’ve seen staggering numbers of fatal overdoses – far outpacing homicides in Queens.”