Leading criminologists support New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's contention that violence has been diminished in the city by the police department's aggressive campaign to get guns off the streets, reports the Associated Press. While acknowledging policing isn't the only factor in reducing gun violence, the criminologists cite the all-time low number of slayings in a city where most people are killed with guns. "New York is showing the way for some good strategies in policing," said Harold Pollack, co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
Getting a thin layer of guns off the streets matters, said Franklin Zimring, author of "The City that Became Safe: New York's Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control." "Gun policing in New York got much more effective as every kind of street policing got more effective," he said. Crime has dropped almost across the board in the decade Bloomberg has been in office. There were 418 killings last year for a population of 8 million people, the lowest number since reliable records were kept starting in 1963. Chicago, for example, had 487 for 2 million people. In 1990, New York City had an all-time high of 2,245 killings. "Is a lot of that effective street gun policing? Yes," Zimring said.