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Police-involved shootings drop to record low with 23 incidents, NYPD says

Police attributed the drop to an increase in the use of stun guns during confrontations.

As the homicide rate plummeted across the city this year, so did the number of police-involved shootings, the NYPD said Thursday.

As of Wednesday, police officers fired their service weapons in 23 incidents this year — a record low for the department, as first reported by the New York Daily News and confirmed by an NYPD spokesman. That number is down from 2016, when officers fired their weapons 37 times, the spokesman said.

The NYPD — which does not count accidental discharges or suicides in the data — attributed the decline to a number of factors, including an increased reliance on stun guns, which were used 2,372 times this year through November. Stun guns were used 1,710 times during the same period in 2016 and 15,755 officers have been trained on deploying them, the spokesman said.

Training and the Force Investigation Division also contributed to the decrease in police-involved shootings. Created in 2015, the Force Investigation Division is responsible for looking into cases in which a police officer shoots someone.

The decline in police-involved shootings comes as the department also reported a drop in homicides so far in 2017. As of Wednesday, there have been 267 homicides in the city this year, compared with 318 in the same time period in 2016. NYPD officials said earlier in December they expect fewer than 300 killings to be recorded by year’s end, a level last seen toward the end of World War II.

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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