FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW YORK CITY'S RECORD-LOW CRIME LEVELS IN 2009 AND STEPS TO MAKE THE CITY EVEN SAFER IN 2010 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, January 3, 2010
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"While the past year was a tough one for many New Yorkers, there are lots of reasons to expect a better 2010. Our schools are improving. Our quality of life is unsurpassed. The City's economy is poised for recovery from the national recession. And one of the biggest reasons for that is the NYPD's remarkable continued success in making the nation's safest big city safer still - even at a time of economic distress.
"The numbers speak for themselves. During 2009, there were fewer murders in New York City than at any time since 1963. It was our second year in three with fewer than 500 homicides, and the eighth straight year with fewer than 600; compare that to the not-so-distant past, when murders sometimes hit close to 2,000 a year. Since 2001, we've cut murders by 29 percent, rapes by 38 percent, robberies by 34 percent, auto theft by 64 percent. In fact, all categories of the most serious felonies in our city by nearly 35 percent combined.
"What's more, we've also dramatically increased safety in what were once problem areas. Over the past eight years, for example, we've reduced crime in our transit system by nearly half, and at the city's public housing developments by nearly a third. And since 2003, Operation Impact - which floods troubled, targeted areas with teams of rookie and veteran officers - has sharply cut crime in these impact zones.
"Our City's Finest deserve enormous credit for all these achievements. And we've done everything we can to aid their efforts - especially with our intense focus on ridding our city of illegal guns. No question about it, the tough new laws we've helped enact, our stepped-up enforcement, and our undercover investigations of illegal out-of-state gun sales have combined to help make our streets safer than ever.
"Even as it continues to lead the nation in reducing street crime, the NYPD also remains at the forefront in preventing terrorism. The more than 1,000 of our top officers who work in intelligence and counter-terrorism have come through for us, time and again. And to strengthen our counter-terrorism efforts, during 2010 we'll start extending the state-of-the-art network of sensors, license plate readers, and closed-circuit cameras now protecting Lower Manhattan to a large swath of Midtown as well.
"Now, how much further can we reduce crime? We aim to find out. Last Friday, when I took the oath of office for another term as mayor, I said that in the years ahead, we'd redouble our efforts to fight crime by preventing it where it's still most troubling: Among young people who are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of crime. We're going to do even more to protect their lives and futures, and also to ensure the future and safety of the city we love.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958