NYPD says 2016 the safest summer on record in decades

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Jim Dolan has the story.

The NYPD is reporting that 2016 is the safest summer in decades in terms of violent crimes.

In an era when so many cities are seeing staggering rates of shootings and murders, New York is the calm in the middle of a storm of violence.

"For the first eight months, we were down 108 shooting incidents, it's almost a 14% decrease, again the lowest in the comstat era," said Dep. Comm. Dermot Shea, NYPD.

The NYPD is calling the summer of 2016 the safest on record, with violent crimes and robberies down more than 5% and shootings down more than 3%. Homicides are up slightly over the summer, but down for the year, and the department sees temporary spikes as variations in an overall downward trend.

"From time to time, there will be spikes in certain crimes, but we at the department are very good at precision policing, focusing on those spikes very quickly while they are two, three, or four incidents before they become 20 or 30," Commissioner William Bratton said.

Reduction in crime does come at a financial cost.

"I think we spent a lot of money on that, and I think some of the public might be kind of upset about some of the money they spent, but you know what, it looks like it paid dividends for them at keeping the violence down and a lot of people are walking around because of it," said Joseph Giacalone, professor at John Jay College.

Commissioner Bratton is retiring at the end of the month, and even critics acknowledge what he has accomplished in a remarkable career.

The mayor pointed out Tuesday that the year Bratton started his first stint as commissioner; the city had nearly 3,000 murders. Last year, there were 350.

"If we, God forbid, had stayed at that kind of level of homicides, literally 29,000 more New Yorkers would have been lost to us in the intervening years," Mayor de Blasio said.

There were an increased number of rapes and crime in public housing complexes is also up.

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