The city is the safest it's ever been, according to the NYPD, giving Mayor Bill de Blasio a critical campaign issue to promote in the coming months. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.

After a tough year defined by investigations into his fundraising, Mayor Bill de Blasio is kicking off 2017 on a high note.

"Crime has gone down three years running, and we intend to drive it down more," de Blasio said. 

As other big cities, like Chicago, wrestle with an alarming number of shootings and a rising murder rate, New York City is celebrating record declines in crime. 

There were 335 murders last year, down from 352 in 2015, just shy of the record reached the previous year. The department hit a new low with shootings in 2016, with fewer than 1,000 recorded for the first time ever. 

"We have right now the gateway to an even safer New York City," de Blasio said.

These are critical statistics for de Blasio, especially at the start of an election year. As a candidate in 2013, he campaigned as a police reformer, and critics predicted the city would spiral out of control under his watch.

On Wednesday, a top political aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Howard Wolfson, tweeted, "Four years ago I said crime would go up under BDB. I was wrong. Kudos to him and the NYPD."

The crime numbers not only help the mayor in the city but on the national stage as well, giving him fresh ammunition in his public safety fight with President-elect Donald Trump.

"President-elect Donald Trump is wrong about stop-and-frisk, and I told him that to his face," de Blasio said.

Trump has said he wants police departments to rely more heavily on the stop-and-frisk tactic despite a federal judge's ruling that the way it was used in New York under Bloomberg was unconstitutional.

As for the mayor's public safety record, he has struggled to make New Yorkers aware of it. A NY1/Baruch College poll last month found that one-third of residents think crime has actually gone up under de Blasio, even though the data says just the opposite.