New Rochelle’s public safety record continues to improve. With the final statistics for the past year now compiled, our Police Department is able to report that Part I crimes fell 12% in 2010, an improvement over what was already a historically low level of criminal activity.

Comparatively, New Rochelle retained its status as the fourth safest city of comparable size in the nation (there are about fifty cities in our population category), and the safest among the comparable municipalities of New York State and Westchester. This record is a credit to the hard work and professionalism of our police and to the active partnership of residents and community leaders.

Some specific areas of improvement include aggravated assault (down 56%), auto theft (down 43%), burglary (down 31%), and larceny (down 5%). The only significant increase was in the category of robbery, which is up 17% to a total of 98 incidents. Many of these robberies involve the theft of cell phones. You can read more in the Police Department’s Annual Report.

To be clear, even one crime is one too many, and we must always seize opportunities for further improvement. Moreover, as you may have read in the media, there have been in recent weeks some particularly serious and troubling incidents in New Rochelle about which I and many other residents are greatly concerned. My point in citing statistics is never to minimize such incidents or suggest complacency, but rather to provide an objective overall measure of community safety and place any specific event in an appropriate context.