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L.A. murder rate lowest in 40 years in 2009

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

January 4, 2011 7:26:19 PM PST
The homicide rate in Los Angeles dropped to the lowest level in more than four decades.There were 297 homicides in the city last year, down from 314 the year before.

But more impressive is the continuing downward trend.

The worst year for murders was 1992, when nearly 1,100 people were killed.

The overall crime rate has dropped every year for the past nine years.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck gives credit to a larger police force and creative strategies to fight crime.

"[We're] doing it by bringing in partnerships, doing it by expanding the way that we look at our role, as prevention, intervention, re-entry, not just suppression," said Beck.

Beck said the gains that have been made are in jeopardy as city officials face tough decisions on where to spend the public's money this year.