With a comparatively scant 45 homicides, and "a decline in lethal shootings, stabbings and bludgeonings of more than 50 percent from both 2007 and 2008," San Francisco will see a shockingly low homicide rate this year, provided there isn't some sort of gory public massacre between now and tomorrow night.. (San Francisco played host to 97 and 98 murders, respectively, in those years.)
According to the Chronicle, "No one can quite account for it." But SFPD Chief George Gascón attributes the drop to the "decision to target areas of gang activity in Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley and the Western Addition for tougher enforcement." Stronger community involvement also might h ave played a role as well.
And the ethnic numbers, if you will, are surprising as well. "The number of African American men slain in the city this year plunged to 22, from 44 last year and 47 in 2007," Chron goes on to point out. "Eight Latino men were slain in 2009, compared with 24 in 2008 and 23 the year before that."
Check out this handy chart.