With New York City on track to record fewer than 500 murders this year, the lowest number since reliable police record-keeping started in 1963, police attention to detail is working specifically with domestic violence, a complex crime that can be difficult to police, says the Associated Presss. In the past five years, around 12 percent of murders committed in the city were attributed to domestic violence, but so far this year, it’s about 8 percent, said Kathy Ryan, head of the New York Police Department domestic violence unit.
The figure has been dropping since 2002, when 76 such murders were reported. So far this year, 42 have been reported. Ryan says the domestic violence unit has taken a more proactive policing approach for the past five years. There is at least one domestic violence officer assigned to every city precinct–244 total. After a report, officers return to the home to check on the family. There’s also an enhanced 911 system that checks whether prior calls were made from a residence, so responding officers are aware of a history of violence. “Intelligent policing is intelligence,” Ryan said. “You have to know what you’re going into, and with these crimes in particular, history is crucial.”