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Raymond Kelly Points to Budget Cuts, Fewer Police as Cause For Rise in City's Murder Rate

By Heather Grossmann | April 7, 2010 8:04am | Updated on April 7, 2010 6:44am
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly
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Eddie Vega / flickr

By Heather Grossmann

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Tuesday the NYPD was concerned about the recent jump in the city's murder rate and pointed to budget cuts as a possible culprit.

“We have seen an increase in murders, obviously it's a cause for concern,” Kelly said at a Tuesday press conference. "We have lost 6,000 police officers since fiscal year 2001. Under the projected budget that we have been given, we will lose another 2,000 police officers, going down to a level we haven’t seen since 1990."

But New York City’s top cop was quick to remind residents that crime last year was down to record lows, and he noted that subway crime is currently at an all-time low.

Kelly said that the NYPD gets on average five reported “index crimes” a day on the subway — which include rape, murder and robbery — down from 50 in 1990 and 10 in 2001. That figure does not include crimes like petty theft or harassment, police said.

“The city has become much, much more safe,” Kelly said. “Obviously one crime is one crime too many — that's the way we treat it. Our goal is to suppress it wherever it occurs." 

When the increase in the murder rate was reported last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg also cited the budget, saying, "We have fewer police out in the street than we did before… More cops always helps."