LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Long Beach officials announced the biggest drop in deadly crimes that the city has seen in decades.

The South Bay city said it had the lowest 2017 homicide rate in nearly 50 years.

Compared to 2016, the overall murder rate for 2017 showed a 33.3 percent decrease. There was also a 42 percent drop in gang-related homicides.

As of December 31, 2017, 22 murders had been recorded citywide, down from 33 recorded in 2016.

“This historic reduction in homicides is a huge win for the people of Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The city has dramatically become safer over the last decades thanks to the men and women of the LBPD and community partnerships. Every life lost is still a tragedy, so we will continue to press on to make Long Beach even safer.”

Police Chief Robert Luna credited extra gang enforcement, a record low unemployment rate and a boost in community support for officers.

“We are very pleased with the significant drop in murders and the continued overall reduction in citywide crime,” said Luna. “The noticeable decreases are a true testament to the dedication and the incredible work that our employees do every day. We work together in partnership with our community and other City Departments, as well as numerous law enforcement entities in an effort to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”

 

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