Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Tuesday that he expects overall crime levels to be as low as they were in 2014 by the end of the year and noted that New York City rates are far lower than many of its big city counterparts, despite an uptick of shootings and killings in 2015.
There were 662 shootings so far this year as of the end of July, four more than during the same time period last year, according to police statistics.
As of Aug. 3, homicides are up about 9.4% from the same time period last year, or an increase of 17 murders, according to police statistics. Overall crime is down by about 5.3%, as of Aug. 2, compared to last year.
“Our projections going into the fall and winter months based on experience last year, as I’m looking into my crystal ball, my expectation is that the crime situation in the city will continue to remain one [where] at the end of this year we’ll still be able to proclaim New York City is the safest large city in the United States,” Bratton said, speaking at a news conference at police headquarters.
“Good news is as we’re going forward, that the now soon-to-be-enlarged NYPD will have an even stronger capacity to keep this city safe, both in terms of serious crime as well as the quality of life crime.”
Harlem, the Bronx and central Brooklyn made up about 90% of the shootings in July, said Dermot Shea, deputy commissioner for operations.
“We know exactly what we are facing. We know exactly who is responsible,” Shea said.
“And we’re more committed than ever and focused — the uniformed members of this department and the investigators — to tackle the problems that are represented on that map.”
Shea said in July, about one out of every four suspects in shooting incidents was a “repeat customer.”
Bratton, who attended a meeting in Washington, D.C., this week for the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said New York is actually in good shape compared to some other large cities, which are also experiencing upticks in violence.
“What we’ve been experiencing is far less than just about every other city that was in attendance yesterday,” Bratton said.
“Milwaukee and Baltimore, in particular, their numbers are incredible. And Chicago is leading the way. Chicago actually has, with a population only one quarter the size of New York … more homicides than we’ve had so far, year to date, here,” he said.