New York City Police Department

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Press Release | NYPD Shooting Restraint

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


2010 Also Marks Lowest Number of Total Shooting Incidents by Police Since Formal Reporting Began 40 Years Ago

PDF LINK: 2010 Firearm Discharge Report Preliminary Stats

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced today that the New York City Police Department last year experienced the fewest number of fatal police-involved shootings since 1971, the year to which reliable data on firearms discharges may be tracked. Police shot and killed eight subjects last year compared to 93 in 1971. An additional16 were wounded last year - another record low. The number wounded in 1971 was 221.

"It is a tribute to the police officers' training and restraint, as well as a reflection of a safer city that fatalities have plummeted despite an increase in police numbers and in the capacity of their firearms," Commissioner Kelly said.

The record lows were recorded despite significant increases in the both the department's headcount and capacity of its firearms compared to the 1970s. There were approximately 4,000 fewer officers (31,000 total) on the force in 1971 compared to 35,000 last year. Prior to 1993, New York City police officers were armed with six-shot revolvers compared to today's 16-shot semiautomatic pistols.

The announcement follows the Police Department's report in November which showed that in 2009 it recorded the lowest number of shooting incidents by police since formal reporting began 40 years ago. That record was broken again in 2010 with a record low of 34 adversarial conflicts with assailants, and 93 firearms discharge incidents for any reason, including accidental discharges and shooting of animals. There were 994 such incidents in 1972 - the highest year, Last year was the first time firearms discharge incidents of all kinds fell below 100.

The New York City Police Department has the lowest ratio of fatal, police-involved shootings of any major police department in the nation, or 0.34 per 1,000 officers in 2010. Other large cities had fatal shooting ratios in recent years that were at least two and three times greater than New York's.

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