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LA homicide rate on track for 40-year low

December 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The city of Los Angeles is on track to end the year with fewer than 300 homicides for the first time in four decades.

There have been 291 reported murders in 2010, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

It's the lowest number since 1967, when the population was nearly 30 percent smaller. There were 281 homicides reported in 1967.

Los Angeles recorded about 7.5 killings per 100,000 people in 2010, giving it one of the lowest homicide rates among major U.S. cities.

The murder rate is down 75 percent from 1992, when 1,092 people were killed, and murders investigated by the sheriff's department have dropped by more than half since the mid-1990s.

"It was in the late '90s when we were seeing over 1,000 homicides just in the city alone. So we're very proud of the fact that we've been able to partner with our community members who are really the eyes and the ears of the police and sheriff's department," said Los Angeles Police Asst. Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur.

Through Dec. 18, all violent crimes in area patrolled by the the LAPD have dropped 11 percent compared to the same period in 2009, and major property crimes were down 6 percent.

Officials said anti-gang programs may be helping to reduce the murder rate.

Also, more residents are helping law enforcement and fighting for their neighborhoods.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.


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