NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - As he swore in the NYPD's newest class of recruits Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city's murder rate is at an all-time low. There were 414 of them so far in 2012.
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That's the lowest number since reliable records starting being kept in 1963.
"Murders are down almost 19 percent this year compared to last year. They are down 35 percent from where they were 11 years ago," Bloomberg said at the Barclays Center ceremony.
He credited police tactics with the reduction in crime, including the controversial stop-and-frisk program.
"Crime has continued to come down and the fact that when we stop and frisk today, you find fewer guns, that shows you that it's working," he said.
Shootings are also at a record low, with 1,353 in 2012, an eight percent drop from 2011.
"We stop at nothing to try to keep everybody safe in this city and we will continue to do that," he said.
But Bloomberg said one shooting is one too many.
"That's why I am doing everything I can to push Washington to adopt common sense gun laws that will protect our communities and these guys and women so they can come home safe every night," he said.
1,159 new members of the New York City police force graduated today.
"Today's graduates have chosen one of the toughest, most demanding and one of the most important jobs there is," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York's finest, including the new police officers sworn in today, are admired the world over and are the reason New York can call itself the nation's safest big city."
"You are taking your place among a law enforcement team that is second to none," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "Your fellow officers have driven crime down by 32 percent over the last decade, and secured for New York City the fewest number of homicides in more than half a century. We're counting on you to help build on this impressive legacy."
Over 40 percent of this graduating class are college graduates; 467 have earned their bachelor's degrees and 47 hold advanced degrees, including three juris doctors.
76 six of the new officers served in the U.S. military and 109 previously served the City in other capacities including as NYPD Police Cadets, School Safety Agents, Traffic Enforcement Agents, and other civil service titles.
The class is 84 percent male and 16 percent female; 53 percent white, 12 percent black, 25 percent Hispanic, 9 percent Asian, and 1 percent other. Approximately one in five new police officers immigrated to the United States from 46 different countries. The members of this class speak 58 different foreign languages.
The countries represented are:
Antigua & Barbuda
Hong Kong (China)
Bosnia And Herzegovina
Saint Vincent and The Grenadines
Trinidad & Tobago
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