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New York City on pace for fewer than 500 murders for the year; would be lowest in decades

NEW YORK- With the year nearly half over, the city is on pace to record fewer than 500 murders in 2005, which would be the lowest toll in more than 40 years.

There were 215 homicides through June 19 this year, compared with 259 in the same period last year, the Daily News reported, citing police statistics. If the pace held, there would be 465 murders for 2005.

The last year that the city logged fewer than 500 slayings was 1961, when 482 people were killed. There were 560 murders in 2004.

"By quickly addressing any spike in crime or change in quality-of-life conditions, we've been able to continue to drive crime down," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. "In short, good policing work by great police officers."

In 1990, New York had a record 2,245 homicides, more than any other city in the United States.

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