New York City became a slightly safer city last year — and a much safer one if you're a cop

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New York City's overall crime rate declined only slightly in 2015, but the number of crimes against police officers plunged, according to statistics updated by the NYPD on Monday.

There were 241 fewer assaults against cops last year than there were in 2014, an 18 percent drop. Incidents of resisting arrest fell by 21 percent.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, NYPD deputy commissioner for operations Dermot Shea credited the declines to the department's rejection of "the overly aggressive policing" pursued by former commissioner Ray Kelly.

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New York City became a slightly safer city last year — and a much safer one if you're a cop
Brothers Stephan, left, John, center, and Alec Favale pose for photographers before the New York City Police Department Police Academy graduation ceremony, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Three sons of a New York Police Department official were sworn in as officers Tuesday, in what may mark the first time three siblings have ever graduated from the city's police academy at one time.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 30: Thousands of police, members of the military and dignitaries attend the funeral for Joseph Lemm at St. Patrick's Cathedral on December 30, 2015 in New York City. Lemm, a 45 year old U.S. soldier and New York City police detective, was killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan last week. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Philadelphia police officers salute while the National Anthem is sung during a pro-police rally, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. Organizers called the gathering the Delaware Valley Pro-Blue Rally and said that the event was in remembrance of fallen New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)
NYPD Counter-terrorism officers patrols the parade route at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invisioan/AP)
Police officers turn their backs as Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during the funeral of New York Police Department Officer Wenjian Liu at Aievoli Funeral Home, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Liu and his partner, officer Rafael Ramos, were killed Dec. 20 as they sat in their patrol car on a Brooklyn street. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later killed himself. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
New York City police officers with their badges covered in mourning, wait to enter the courtroom for Demetrius Blackwell's arraignment in Queens criminal court, Thursday, June 11, 2015, in New York. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced the indictment of Blackwell on Thursday in the death of Police Officer Brian Moore. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2014 file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, and NYPD police commissioner Bill Bratton, center, stand on stage during a New York Police Academy graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York. Mayor de Blasio has spent much of the week answering questions about a 9 percent spike in crime in New York. But experts say that a major rise in crime, which hasn't happened yet during his administration, would be more damaging to him than other mayors since he had a reputation for being soft on crime, his relationship with the police is tenuous and so much of his plan to change the justice system is hinged on the idea that crime will not rise. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
A couple of police officers embrace as they arrive for the funeral mass of New York City police officer Brian Moore, Friday, May 8, 2015, at the St. James Roman Catholic church in Seaford, N.Y. As many as 30,000 police officers from across the United States are expected to pay their respects at the Long Island funeral for Moore, who died Monday after being shot in the head while on duty two days earlier in Queens. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
In this April 29, 2015 photo, police officer Lanora Moore talks with a man on 125th Street in the Harlem section of New York. In the wake of last year's fatal arrest of Eric Garner, the nation's largest police force is undergoing a massive, across-the-board retraining with a three-day course aimed at discouraging verbal abuse and needless physical force. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
In this April 29, 2015 photo, police officers Lanora Moore, left, Max Chow, center, and Shakara President walk on 125th Street in the Harlem section of New York. In the wake of last year's fatal arrest of Eric Garner, the nation's largest police force is undergoing a massive, across-the-board retraining with a three-day course aimed at discouraging verbal abuse and needless physical force. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference in New York, Monday, March 16, 2015. De Blasio and police commissioner Bill Bratton were talking about Shotspotter, a new technology that the NYPD is using to detect gunfire throughout New York City. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
In this photo provided by the New York City Police Department, NYPD Officer Andrew Dossi celebrates after being released from the hospital in New York, Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Dossi and his partner, Aliro Pellerano, were wounded in a shootout while responding to a robbery on Jan. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/NYPD)
FILE. In this Jan. 8, 2015 file photo, a policeman looks out the window of his patrol car in Times Square in New York. In bustling Times Square, where scores of tourists wander through streets clogged with traffic and hawkers selling trinkets, low-level enforcement activity has all but grinded to a halt. The slowdown is happening city wide, but it’s unclear whether it’s a blip or the new status quo and what it means for the broken windows style of policing. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: A police car is parked at a crime scene where three people were shot on June 10, 2015 in the Gowanus area of the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. In an effort to combat the rise in murders and shootings, hundreds of additional New York City Police Officers will begin walking city streets as part of an aggressive NYPD initiative called 'Summer All Out.' About 330 officers will be taken off of administrative duty to patrol the streets in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: Police officers at the 44th Precinct in the Bronx stand at Roll Call on June 10, 2015 in New York City. In an effort to combat the rise in murders and shootings, hundreds of additional New York City Police Officers will begin walking city streets as part of an aggressive NYPD initiative called 'Summer All Out'. About 330 officers will be taken off of administrative duty to patrol the streets in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: Police officers at the 44th Precinct in the Bronx stand at Roll Call on June 10, 2015 in New York City. In an effort to combat the rise in murders and shootings, hundreds of additional New York City Police Officers will begin walking city streets as part of an aggressive NYPD initiative called 'Summer All Out'. About 330 officers will be taken off of administrative duty to patrol the streets in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a news conference at the 44th Precinct in the Bronx on June 10, 2015 in New York City. In an effort to combat the rise in murders and shootings, hundreds of additional New York City Police Officers will begin walking city streets tomorrow as part of an aggressive NYPD initiative called 'Summer All Out'. About 330 officers will be taken off of administrative duty to patrol the streets in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 10: Police officers at the 44th Precinct in the Bronx stand at Roll Call on June 10, 2015 in New York City. In an effort to combat the rise in murders and shootings, hundreds of additional New York City Police Officers will begin walking city streets as part of an aggressive NYPD initiative called 'Summer All Out'. About 330 officers will be taken off of administrative duty to patrol the streets in some of the city's most violent neighborhoods. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton speaks at a press briefing after a hammer-wielding attacker assaulted a police officer on May 13, 2015 in New York City. The attacker was shot twice by a police officer and is currently in the hospital undergoing medical treatment. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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Overall crime fell by 1.7 percent, but in several severe categories actually ticked up in 2015. The year saw a 4.5 percent increase in the city's murder rate and a 6 percent rise in the incidence of rape.

Some portion of the overall drop in crime may have more to do with declines of enforcement rather than offense. The NYPD made 11,000 fewer marijuana arrests in 2015 than the previous year, and it seems unlikely that ganja has suddenly lost its popularity. That drop, along with a 30 percent decline in all criminal court summonses, reflects the kinder, gentler style of Broken Windows policing championed by the de Blasio administration. By contrast, though, a 3 percent fall in reported shootings may reflect the department's stepped-up enforcement of firearms laws — in 2015, gun arrests rose by more than 10 percent.

Alternatively, all of these statistics could reflect nothing but the administration's desire to distort reality for political ends — if you agree with Ray Kelly's assertion on AM 970 last month. "I think you've got to ... look at those numbers because I think there are some issues with the numbers that are being put out," the former commissioner told the station. "I think there's some redefinition going on as to what amounts to a shooting, that sort of thing."

In an interview with WCBS on Monday morning, Mayor de Blasio denied cooking his administration's not entirely flattering 2015 figures. "It's the exact same numbers, the exact same methodology being used under Bratton as was used under Kelly," de Blasio said.

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