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Major NYC Crimes On Pace For Record Low In 2015

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- So much for concern earlier this year of a return to the bad old days.

Police officials said Wednesday that New York City is on pace this year for fewer than 100,000 reported major crimes for the first time in at least two decades.

Dermot Shea, NYPD deputy commissioner of operations, said that for the first six months of 2015, there were 46,775 reports of rapes, robberies, felony assaults, burglaries, grand larcenies and auto theft.

Major NYC Crimes In 2015 On Pace For Record Low

Shea said the NYPD has not fallen below 100,000 reported major crimes since similar record-keeping began in 1994.

The number of arrests so far in 2015 has fallen by about 35,000.

"Overall in New York City, every single ... geographical borough is down in crime," Shea told reporters, including 1010 WINS' Al Jones.

Major NYC Crimes In 2015 On Pace For Record Low

The decrease in major crimes for the year comes even despite a jump last month that prompted hand-wringing from city officials and criticism over enforcement changes.

The NYPD has largely done away with the controversial practice of stop, question and frisk, moving toward targeted enforcement to catch criminals and get guns off streets, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

"We've got a good handle on the crime situation in the city of New York, and it's my expectation that by the end of this year that we may end the year with once again the lowest amount of crime recorded in the city," police Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

Overall, crime is down 6 percent. And while shootings and homicides remain up this year, there is reason for optimism on that front as well.

As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported, the NYPD has thrown hundreds of additional cops on the streets to combat gun violence -- 330 sent to 10 high-crime precincts and four public housing locations as part of its "Operation Summer All Out" initiative, and the results are starting to show.

"Since 'Summer All Out' began on June 8 in those commands, we've seen shootings decrease by more than 19 percent and murders dropped by 50 percent," said NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill.

Other precincts are receiving 1,400 extra cops on weekends -- when gun crime tends to spike. Offiicals said much of the gun crime has been attributed to gang activity.

And while NYPD officials showed videos and pictures of a number of unsolved murders Wednesday, it was a day to brag that June was one of the safest summer months in Big Apple history.

For example, there was a:
34 percent drop in murders -- from 32 in June 2014 to 21 this past month
3.7 percent decline in shooting incidents -- 108 last June to 104
2.4 percent drop in shooting victims -- 127 last June to 124.

And even before the NYPD hires the 1,300 more cops approved by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, a new class of more than 800 cops will graduate from the police academy Thursday.

"They'll be sent to all precincts, PSAs (police service areas) and transit districts, so everybody across New York City is going to be seeing some new police officers," O'Neill said.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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