Crime plummets in Brooklyn neighborhood previously known as notorious ‘war zone’

EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn — Crime rates plummeted in 2017 in a Brooklyn neighborhood notoriously known for decades as a violent area.

The 35 percent drop in shootings and 52 percent drop in murders spurred a Tuesday visit by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"They’re doing great, great work," he said about the officers.

Man Up!, a nonprofit community organization that works to stop violence, has also worked to make the neighborhood a safe place.

"Now you can go into the park. You can sit on a bench. You can walk to the store safely," Man Up! director James Peterson said.

Peterson grew up in East New York when it was hit with crime after crime. The 75th Precinct's reputation was documented in a film as "a war zone" and the "deadliest precinct in the country."

"When you look at the 80s and the 90s, it was terrible in this area," Peterson said.

Neighborhood policing has been a key part of cutting down on crime.

"This is a step in the right direction in terms of building the police and the community together," Reverend Kevin McCall said.

The work of the officers in the 75th Precinct isn't over yet. People in the area don't feel safe, said Community Council President Chris Banks.

"There's still a distrust between the community and the police," Banks said.