“Chicago and New York are about to close out 2007 with the lowest number of homicides in more than 40 years, while cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Miami have seen killings go up because of what police say is a surge in guns and gang violence. New York City reported 488 slayings as of Friday, versus 596 for all of 2006. The city is on track to have the lowest number of killings since reliable record-keeping started in 1963.
Homicides in New York reached an all-time high of 2,245 in 1990, making the city the nation’s murder capital. Since then, the numbers have plummeted, and experts attribute the decline in part to computerized tracking of crime trends and the practice of strategically flooding high-crime areas with police officers instead of spreading them evenly through the precincts.
Chicago is on track to have the lowest homicide toll since 1965, when police reported 395 killings. The city had logged 435 slayings through Dec. 26. In the early part of the decade, police often reported more than 600 a year.”