Homicides plummet inexplicably in S.F.
There are two factors they think really drove down the homicides: aggressive foot patrols in problem neighborhoods (like mine) and a Federal crackdown on the MS-13 gang in the Mission.
The Police Department has logged 45 homicides in the city this year - a decline in lethal shootings, stabbings and bludgeonings of more than 50 percent from both 2007 and 2008, when the city recorded 98 and 97 homicides, respectively. If it holds through the rest of the year, it will mark the lowest number of homicides since 1961, when there were 39.
"This is a remarkable reduction," Mayor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday. "It's the lowest it's been in nearly half a century."
As homicides plummeted, the Police Department's expanded homicide unit caught up on its work. The newly expanded unit solved roughly 70 percent of killings in 2009, about twice the rates of both 2007 and 2008 and the Police Department's best figure in memory.
In some recent years, when the homicide total edged close to 100, the department solved as few as 25 percent of the killings.