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New York City police officers set a record in 2017 -- and it has to do with shootings

Crime
New York City police officers shot fewer people in 2017 than in any previous year. (Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

It was a good year for New York City police. The best, in fact, in terms of number of shootings in 2017.

New York City police officers shot the lowest number of people ever in a single year — only 23 as of Thursday, according to Vice News.

Less than half of those shootings were fatal.

That’s a 44 percent drop in police shooting incidents from 2016 — less than one person shot for every 100,000 residents.

New York City police shot half as many people despite being three times larger than the next-largest local department in the nation.

How have they improved?

NYPD has made some significant changes over the last few years, such as banning shooting at cars and setting up a special unit devoted to investigations of the use of deadly force by officers.

According to Vice News, NYPD’s improvement reflects a nationwide trend; fatal and nonfatal police shootings are falling in the largest departments.

Former NYPD officer Eugene O’Donnell, who is also a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the drop in shootings shows that the city is getting safer, and that the officers are being trained to value life more.

“The department has enshrined a reverence for human life that is not only in writing and during training but it is deeply ingrained in the lived culture,” O’Donnell said.

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