Updated 11/22/2011 11:14 PM
NYPD Stats: Police Had Lowest Level Of Deadly Shootings Last Year
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The number of deadly police-involved shootings in the city is on the decline.
According to statistics released Tuesday by the New York City Police Department, there were eight people shot and killed in 2010, or 33 percent fewer people compared to the year prior.
Another 16 people were shot and injured by police officers in 2010.
The statistics also show NYPD officers only fired their weapons 92 times in 2010, a 13-percent decline from the previous year.
That is the lowest number of deadly shootings and firings of weapons since the NYPD began keeping the statistics back in 1971, when 93 people died of police-inflicted gunshot wounds and 221 people were wounded.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, "The improvement is due to police training, restraint, and our success in reducing crime overall."
At the NYPD gun training facility in the Bronx
At the NYPD shooting range in the Rodmans Neck section of the Bronx, where rookie and veteran police officers train twice a year to qualify to carry a service pistol, they are taught when they are in danger to find cover and think tactically before they fire.
Police officers train with video stimulations that mirror real-life situations.
"When I came onto the job, for example, 25 years ago, there was only a five-day training course for firearms training. Only five days, it's been expanded to 13 days," said NYPD Deputy Inspector Ray Caroli, the commanding officer at the shooting range. "The most critical part of that 13 days is they get three days fully dedicated to simulations, scenario-based type training, and it puts the officers in a realistic-type setting."
The report shows 21 of the shootings in 2010 were unintentional and eight involved the unauthorized use of a police firearm.
This study was released just three days before the fifth anniversary of the Sean Bell shooting.
Bell died outside a Queens night club in a hail of 50 police bullets, hours before his wedding.
Police say they thought he was armed, though no gun was ever found.
All of the officers involved have been cleared of criminal charges.
Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre-Bell, told NY1 on Tuesday that the news of fewer police-involved shootings in the city was welcome.
"Nothing will ever bring Sean back, but just the idea and knowing that there have been less police shootings of innocent people, it's definitely a good thing," said Paultre-Bell.
She was also glad to hear that officers receive more weapons training.
Kelly said an NYPD committee made 20 recommendations following the Sean Bell shooting and they were all put into effect.