FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 29, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW YORK CITY’S CONTINUED REDUCTION IN CRIME IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, December 28, 2008
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"This is a very special time of year, and I hope that all New Yorkers are enjoying a weekend filled with good friends and good cheer. One thing we can all feel cheerful about this holiday season is the fact that crime in our city continues to fall. Crime is down again this year in our public housing developments, in our transit system, in our schools and in all five boroughs. Citywide, we've reduced crime by about four percent this year and nearly 30 percent over the past seven years.
"I'm pleased to report that since 2001, we've also made huge gains against every category of violent crime. Rape, for example has declined by more than a third since 2001. That's not just a statistic; it represents hundreds fewer New Yorkers who've had to suffer the fear and pain of such a horrific crime. Serious assaults are also down significantly, by about eight percent this year and 31 percent over 7 years.
"The statistic most often used to gauge the level of violence in a city is the number of murders. During the 1980s and early 90s, New York City routinely recorded more than 1200 murders a year. In 2002, the number of murders fell to below 600 for the first time in four decades. We've been able to keep that number under 600 for seven years running. In 2008, didn't do quite as well as last year - when murders fell below 500 for the first time - but we are on track to record the second lowest number of murders in modern memory.
"One of the strategies that has helped our police officers drive crime to record lows is 'Operation Impact,' a program that deploys extra resources to areas that have defied the overall decline in crime. Since the Operation Impact program began in January of 2003, we've cut crime as much as 30 percent in some of the most notoriously crime-ridden areas. We're going to continue Operation Impact in 2009, because every New Yorker has the right to live in a safe neighborhood.
"Even with more than 3,000 fewer officers in their ranks, the NYPD has continued to drive down crime in each of the last seven years. And most impressively, they've done all that while also keeping our city safe from terror. We know that New York is still a powerful symbol of the freedom and diversity that our enemies find so threatening. That's why we keep strengthening our counter-terrorism efforts with programs such as the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is bringing the latest surveillance and detection technology to the area south of Canal Street.
"As we close out 2008, we have a lot to be proud of, particularly when it comes to fighting crime. This holiday season I hope that all New Yorkers will say a prayer of thanks for the men and women of the NYPD, who take such incredible risks on our behalf, and who have made New York the safest big city in the nation.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening and Happy Holidays."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958