New York City homicides dropped sharply during the first half of the year — to 154 as of Thursday from 202 last year — surprising even police officials who have long been accustomed to trumpeting declining crime rates, reports the New York Times. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly attributed much of the drop to a new anticrime strategy against retaliatory violence against gangs.
Police officials also credited their efforts at identifying and monitoring abusive husbands whose behavior seemed poised to turn lethal. The new decrease comes on top of an all-time modern now of 419 murders last year. “In our business, this is miraculous,” Kelly said. “These are lives that are being saved.” In the early 1990s, when Kelly also served as police commissioner, the city recorded about 2,000 murders annually.