New Rochelle’s public safety record in 2014 was the best in 54 years. You read that right. According to final statistics just compiled, there were 1,429 Part I crimes committed during the past year. The last time New Rochelle recorded fewer crimes was 1961.
New Rochelle’s public safety record also compares favorably with other communities across the country, putting us in the top 10% for safety among cities of similar population.
The scale of the drop in crime is perhaps best illustrated in the burglary statistics. Last year, there were 147 burglaries in New Rochelle. Twenty years ago, there were 476. Thirty years ago, there were 713!
There’s no bad news here, but it is important to add a few caveats.
First, some of the year-to-year fluctuation is statistical noise, and it would not be surprising for the stats to bounce up or down a little bit in 2015 simply through random fluctuation. So while it is nice to highlight a record performance like 2014, it’s probably more useful to focus on longer term trends, which have shown consistently low crime levels for about a decade now.
Second, even one crime is one too many. The fact that burglaries are down about 80% in the last thirty years is not much comfort to the 147 households that were burglarized last year. So we will continue working to prevent crime from occurring and to respond effectively to crime when it does occur.
Third, like all cities, New Rochelle must also continue working to strengthen the bonds between our Police force and our community. To that end, the City has established a new task force with exactly this purpose, and we are looking forward to constructive recommendations by the end of this year.
Big thanks to the men and women of the NRPD for their impressive accomplishment and their dedicated service.