It was close but I think Los Angeles ended the year with less than 300 killings – something that hasn't happened since 1967, when the population was almost 30% smaller.
Imagine in 1992, there were more than 3 homicides a day. In 2001 there were two every day. Last year there was less than one. (Great graphics from the LATimes.com below.)
Numbers similar to Boston, Phoenix and Omaha per capita, as I noted in a story just last month.
"I never thought we'd see these numbers," said Sal LaBarbera, a veteran homicide detective with the LAPD, to the LATimes.com. "It is night and day compared to the old days. Night and day."
"It's great to see the changes that are happening here. I give a lot of credit to the work the police are doing, especially on the gangs. But it's also about people in the
community becoming more involved," said
Elbert Preston, 59, a lifelong resident of the area and president of the
West Adams neighborhood council, told the LATimes.com.
Homicides in the Vermont Square of South Los Angeles went from 15 homicides in 2007 to three so far this year, the LATimes.com reported.
And it's not just homicides, violent cimes and property crimes are also down significantly.