New York City police fired fewer bullets at suspects last year than any time since the department first began keeping in-depth shooting statistics 39 years agoI was just talking about this in class last week.
In 2008, the department was also involved in 105 shooting incidents, with the 125 officers firing a total of 364 bullets. No city police officer last year was shot by a suspect for the first time since the police department started keeping detailed shooting statistics in 1971
In 1972, the NYPD was involved in 211 shootings. In 2006 (the last I have data for), the number was 31. That's a big drop. And it's been a pretty consistent drop with the notable exception of the late 1980s during the rise in crack. It's something the NYPD should get more credit for. And it's often overlooked when there is a high-profile controversial shooting.
To put these numbers in some (somewhat random) context, in 2006: 35,000 NYPD had killed 13. 2,100 Las Vegas PD had killed 12. 6,600 Philadelphia PD had killed 19.
In Baltimore, about 3,000 Baltimore City Police Officers shot 31 in 2007, 21 in 2006 and 11 in 2004.
Higher levels of violence in places like Baltimore explain some of this difference, but not all of it.
[Update: Here's Al Baker's take in the Times.]