NYPD Car CC Peter

While news reports throughout the past year raised anxiety that New York City was slipping back into the crime rates of its bad old days, 2015 turned out to be one of the best years ever — and crime rates continued historic declines.

The city’s police department reports an overall drop of two-percent in serious crime and a 13% decrease in criminal arrests.

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The improvements were obvious even before the year ended. During a December 17 promotion ceremony, Police Commissioner William Bratton said New York City would mark 2015 as the “safest year in its…modern history, as it relates to crime.”

Over the past two years, the NYPD has been changing their approach to law enforcement and community relations, relying more on problem solving instead of making arrests.

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Police also launched “Operation Ceasefire” in 2015 as a new approach to gang-related violence. The experiment across 12 precincts combined strict enforcement for violence, police officers talking directly with gang members, and social programs to move people out of gangs.

In those precincts where the program was tried, shootings dropped by 11% compared to 2014.

(READ more at the New York Times) — Photo: Peter, CC

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