Police Commissioner William Bratton is leaving on a high note. One week before he steps down, Bratton announced another big drop in crime, including the city's safest summer in decades. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Counting down his days as police commissioner, William Bratton is taking a victory lap.
"1994, when I first became commissioner, was at that time the safest summer the department had experienced in modern times," Bratton said. "The summer of 2016 is the safest in the last 20 some-odd years. So I am leaving as I began, with very good crime numbers."
At his final monthly news conference on crime statistics, Bratton and his team reported that serious crimes are down 2 percent this year and 5 percent this summer - June, July and August - compared to the same periods last year.
The NYPD said there were more than 73,000 fewer serious crimes this summer than in Bratton's first summer as commissioner in 1994, an astounding 73 percent drop.
"Lowest shooting incidents for summer, three months. Lowest, robberies, burglaries and stolen vehicles," said Dermot Shea, the NYPD's deputy commissioner for operations.
There were 100 homicides this summer, an increase from last year. But so far this year, 229 people have been killed, compared to 238 at this point last year. And there have been 677 shootings this year, a big decline.
"For the first eight months, we were down 108 incidents. That's almost a 14 percent decrease. Again, the lowest in the CompStat era," Shea said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio gave Bratton and the NYPD full credit for saving 29,000 lives since 1993, when nearly 2,000 people were killed in the city. Last year, just 352 were killed.
"And commissioner, just want to thank you again. I will never tire of thanking you for all that you have done for this city," de Blasio said.
Bratton said he's sure the trends will continue.
"From time to time, there will be a spike in certain crimes, but that we in the department have gotten very good at precision policing, focusing on those spikes very quickly," Bratton said.
Bratton's last day as police commissioner will be next Friday, September 16. That's when Chief of Department James O'Neill will become the new police commissioner.