LONG BEACH, Calif. (FOX 11 / CNS) - Long Beach officials announced that 2017 ended with the lowest number of homicides recorded in the city's history since it began tracking crime statistics in 1968.
The number of homicides fell from 33 in 2016 to 22 last year, for a 33 percent decrease.
"This historic reduction in homicides is a huge win for the people of Long Beach," Mayor Robert Garcia said. "The city has dramatically become safer over the last decade's thanks to the men and women of the LBPD and community partnerships. Every life lost is still a tragedy, so we will continue to press on to make Long Beach even safer."
The city also experienced a significant drop in gang-related killings, with a 42 percent decrease from 2016.
Long Beach leaders credited some enhanced gang-enforcement efforts for the decrease. Those steps included an increase in homicide detectives over the past few years, a dedicated detective to apprehend prohibited weapons possessors and continued partnerships with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Department of Justice.
"We are very pleased with the significant drop in murders and the continued overall reduction in citywide crime," Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna said. "The noticeable decreases are a true testament to the dedication and the incredible work that our employees do every day. We work together in partnership with our community and other city departments, as well as numerous
law enforcement entities in an effort to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike."