Shootings in New York City dropped last year to below 1,000 for the first time since 1994, officials announced Wednesday.
“2016 was the safest year ever in the history of New York City,” asserted Mayor Bill de Blasio. “And we have reduced crime despite upticks in violence in many other cities across America.”
There were 998 shootings in 2016, the fewest reported since the NYPD created the CompStat tracking tool in 1994. It was a drop of 140 shooting incidents compared to 2015.
New York also experienced a 4.1 percent decrease in overall crime last year, with 101,606 crimes reported versus 105,921 in 2015. It is the lowest number of reported crimes in the CompStat era.
The mayor credited the city’s Neighborhood Policing Program and a focus on street gangs with the reduction in violent crime.
Two crime categories did see an increase over 2015.
Felony assaults rose 2.1 percent to 20,807 from 20,375 in 2015. The Housing Bureau also saw an increase to 5,211 crimes reported versus 5,088 in 2015, an increase of 2.4 percent.
“Three years ago, countless onlookers scoffed at the notion that New York City could reduce crime from already record lows,” de Blasio said. “Yet we’ve done it, all while working toward a more just city by reducing arrests and curtailing the overuse of stop and frisk.”
Police Commissioner James O’Neill, who took over from William Bratton in September, said “2016 was the safest year ever in the history of New York City.”
Bratton was New York police commissioner from 1994-1996 and again from 2014-2016. He was lauded for his leadership and administrative skills, as well as for implementing the “broken windows” style of policing, which focuses on combatting smaller crimes in the theory that they will prevent larger ones from happening. But he was also criticized for broken windows, which opponents say pitted New Yorkers against the NYPD, especially in communities of color, DNAinfo reported after Bratton stepped down.