Peekskill is becoming safer.
When the city announced its gun buyback program last week, Police Chief Eric Johansen released numbers showing that violent crime dropped steeply in recent years.
From 2007 to 2012, violent crimes was cut in half.
Johansen said crime in Peekskill is much lower than in comparable cities.
“Peekskill is a close-knit community and violence is not tolerated,” he said in a release. “People are not afraid to speak up.”
The chief noted that, in the vast majority of violent crimes, the offender knows the victim. In many cases, they are related.
Total violent crimes committed in the City of Peekskill:
2013 14 – through May
The numbers are from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, which counts murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults in its index of violent crimes.
If you add in non-violent crimes counted in the state index – burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft – Peekskill’s incidents were still down, but the drop was not as steep.
For instance, from 2008 to 2012, violent crime dropped 31.5 percent. (That’s from 54 to 37.) When you include all of the crimes the criminal justice services division counts, the drop over the same time period was 9.8 percent. The number dipped to 258 from 286, a drop of 28 incidents.
The city fared better than Westchester as a whole.
Throughout Westchester, overall crime dropped 10.6 percent, to 14,943 incidents from 16,722, according to the state counts. That’s on par with the small riverfront city. But violent crime countywide actually rose 1.4 percent over the same time period. Last year, 2,446 violent crimes were reported, compared with 2,412 in 2008.