While the city is touting the lowest homicide rate in over four decades, nearly half of the 461 killings that did occur took place right here in the borough of churches.
As this paper went to press, cops from the Patrol Borough Brooklyn South logged in 92 homicides. Patrol Borough Brooklyn North had 108 homicides for a grand total of 200 –— far outpacing their NYPD counterparts in the Bronx (who will round out the year with 108 killings), Queens (79 slayings) and Manhattan, where 58 homicides were investigated. Staten Island had the lowest number of homicides at 16.
Yet despite this high number, Brooklyn homicides were slightly less than in 2008, during which 207 people were murdered as of December 27, according to NYPD CompStat numbers.
Officials said that eight borough precincts saw increases in homicides, the largest being in the 75th Precinct in East New York, which recorded seven additional slayings (from 17 to 24).East New York was followed by — surprisingly — Borough Park and Kensington, which saw four additional homicides for the year (from three to seven). Many of the killings could be attributed to the influx of Mexican gangs in the command’s periphery, police sources there said. The 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, the 60th Precinct in Coney Island, the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst and the 70th Precinct in Flatbush and Midwood all saw two additional homicides for the year, although none of these commands hosted more than nine slayings, save for the 67th, which had 20. The 68th Precinct saw one additional homicide, jumping from 0 in 2008 to 1, officials said.
The Brooklyn Precinct with the biggest drop in homicides was the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville, which saw nine fewer homicides from the year before (falling from 30 to 21). The 73rd was followed by the 77th Precinct and the 71st Precinct in Crown Heights, which both saw a reduction of five homicides (18 to 13) and a fall of six homicides (16 to 10) respectively.
Following in short order were the 81st Precinct in Bedford Stuyvesant (which fell three from 16 to 13), the 63rd Precinct in Marine Park and Mill Basin (also falling three, from nine to six), the 61st Precinct in Sheepshead Bay (falling two from five to three), the 78th Precinct in Park Slope (falling two from three to one), the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park (falling one from eight to seven) and the 88th Precinct in Fort Greene (falling one from four to three).
The remaining commands, the 69th Precinct in Canarsie (six homicides), the 76th Precinct in Carroll Gardens (five homicides), the 83rd Precinct in Bushwick (10 homicides), the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights (one homicide) and the 90th Precinct in Williamsburg (six homicides) all remained the same when compared to 2008 numbers.
Borough peacekeepers couldn’t pinpoint exactly why Brooklyn had more killings than the rest of the boroughs other to say that it could be connected to the small spike in gun violence we suffered over the last year.
Yet others rule that out as well, since a fair number of the homicides were committed with cutting instruments.
“You can’t definitively say, it’s not that easy,” said one high ranking police source. “It could just be a sign of the times.”
Other sources said that some crimes, particularly homicides, have an ebb and flow that can’t be predicted, since most of the killings are acts of passion.
“Right now the whole city has reached its lowest point with homicides, we’ve bottomed out,” said one police captain. “We may see a blip every now and again, but it’s not a cause for alarm.”
Still others had another reason why the homicide rate had fallen across the city.
“Persistence and professionalism were the watch words of the NYPD in 2009, and they paid off with record crime reduction,” explained Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.