NEW YORK — The number of shootings in New York City continued to drop in October, but two areas were still struggling to combat gun violence, according to officials and NYPD data.
Of the eight borough commands in the city, six have experienced either a return to 2019 shooting levels or substantial improvements compared to 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.
However, gunfire continues to plague the Bronx and Manhattan North borough commands. Year-to-date, shootings are up 31% in the Bronx and 27% in Manhattan North, according to NYPD data.
De Blasio said both areas are facing “real challenges,” but the police department was keeping its focus.
“Lots of resources being poured in to address it,” he added.
Citywide, the number of murders decreased by 9.8% and shooting incidents dropped by 4.4% in October compared to October 2020. Year-to-date, murders are down 2% and shootings are up only slightly by 2% citywide compared to 2020.
There were 382 gun arrests in October, bringing the total number in 2021 to 3,808 – a 13.9% increase compared to 3,343 gun arrests during the same time period in 2020, per the NYPD.
“We saw progress in the month of October,” de Blasio said. “We’ve got more to do for sure, but real change is happening and it’s about precision policing, it’s about neighborhood policing. These approaches work — focusing on where the guns are.”
Brooklyn in particular has experienced vast improvements since the spring.
Since May, the Brooklyn South NYPD command has dropped closer to 2019 shooting levels and Brooklyn North also decreased substantially compared to 2020, the mayor said.
“Those are really powerful indicators in a borough that often had some of the biggest problems,” de Blasio said.
Queens, Manhattan South and Staten Island have also seen improvement in curbing gun violence.
Chief of Department Rodney Harrison credited the city’s Summer All Out program — making stronger connections with communities — and the NYPD’s precision policing tactics targeting gangs.
“Areas in Brooklyn where we’ve seen our biggest decreases (in shootings), Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York, Flatbush, Canarsie, and Brownsville,” Harrison said. “These are areas where we’ve seen violence in the past and we’re putting in the appropriate amount of resources to make those communities a lot safer.”
While the Bronx continued to struggle with gun violence, Harrison said it’s the only borough with over 1,000 gun arrests year-to-date — an increase of 22% compared to last year.
The NYPD also stepped up outreach with at-risk youth in the borough. Youth coordination officers made connections with 150 at-risk youth in October, Harrison said.