If current trends continue, New York City will likely have fewer than 500 homicides this year, the lowest number in a 12-month period since reliable NYC Police Department statistics became available in 1963. As of November 18, 2007, the police department logged 428 killings, the majority of which were committed by friends or acquaintances or were drug or gang-related. In fact, only 35 homicides this year were committed by strangers to the victims, a number described as "microscopic" in a city of 8.2 million.
Thomas Reppetto, a police historian, noted: "Not only has the N.Y.P.D. reduced murder, by nearly 80%, but it has changed the pattern of homicides." In 1990, New York recorded its highest number of murders at 2,245, with many of the victims being killed by strangers. Of the 412 murders this year, many assailants and victims had previous arrests for narcotics. Overall, crime rates in New York City are down 6.47%.