New York City murders for the first half of 2013 totalled just 156, down 25% percent from the first half of 2012. Homicides hit their lowest number since the early 1960’s in 2012. The NYPD claims that this is a result of placing extra police officers in certain high crime “impact zones” and its anti-gang program referred to as “Operation Crew Cut.”

An overall crime increase despite police initiatives might point to the murder rate drop not being entirely caused by NYPD activity. One NYPD official even hinted at this, stating that he was not sure that the decline in homicides are entirely the result of “impact zones,” as they have existed for several years.

In 2012, Mayor Bloomberg said that police activity and his own efforts to enforce stricter gun were responsible for the drop in murders. Other sources said an important factor is the decline of stop-and-frisks. Columbia law professor Jeffrey Fagan discussed police activity as having an impact, but said that he believes the reason lies more in z broader social, economic, and demographic forces. Things are getting better. (Photo: Weegee)