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

A Little Boy's Mission to Thank Every New York City Cop, One-by-One

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

A New York City Police (NYPD) officer stands guard near the finish line ahead of the 2016 New York City Marathon in Central Park in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

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.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Actor and comedian Robin Williams shares a laugh by cell phone with Kathleen Gagliardi, wife of New York City Police Lt. Gary Gagliardi who is working at ground zero Sept. 17, 2001 in New York City. Williams spent time with the rescue workers as well as suprising their wives with phone calls.

(Photo by Tom Sperduto/U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images)

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 City Police officer Manny Surillo (L) laughs with Suzette James and Joseph Coscarelli (R) as they show him their new Original Super Soaker Max-D (Maximum Distance) water soakers outside the Hasbro Toys showroom February 11, 2002, at the American International Toy Fair in New York. The two children were part of a group demonstrating the product, which blasts a stream of water nearly 50 feet, in an enclosed plastic demonstration tent on 23rd Street.

(REUTERS/HO-Hasbro/Ray Stubblebine RFS/MMR)

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)

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)

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)

A boy sits on the shoulders of an NYPD officer during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, the United States on March 17, 2016. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered alongside New York's Fifth Avenue to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade here on Thursday.

(Xinhua/Li Changxiang via Getty Images)

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)

Heavily armed New York City Police (NYPD) officers patrol through the lobby at Trump Tower where U.S. President-elect Donald Trump lives in New York, U.S., November 29, 2016.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

NYPD officers stand guard as runners arrive to compete in the 2016 New York City Marathon in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 6, 2016.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Ryan Lemm, 4, salutes as he is carried by New York Police Department officer John McCrossen as he watches the casket of his father, NYPD officer Joseph Lemm, who was killed on duty in Afghanistan, following funeral services in the Manhattan borough of New York, December 30, 2015. McCrossen was Lemm's partner in the NYPD Warrant Squad. Lemm was one of six U.S. troops killed by a suicide bomber near Bagram air base in Afghanistan.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Brothers Stephan Favale (L) John Favale (C) and Alec Favale (R) pose for photos before a graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden in the Manhattan borough of New York December 29, 2015. The three are sons of a NYPD official in what organizers believe is the first time three brothers have graduated together from the Academy.

(REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

A New York City Police (NYPD) officer touches the edge of the south reflecting pool at the 911 Memorial during a ceremony in honor of slain New York City Police officer Randolph Holder during a ceremony in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 22, 2015. Holder was shot and killed late on Tuesday while pursuing a suspected armed robber close to a busy road in the city's East Harlem neighborhood, police said on Tuesday.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Members of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) stand for a moment of silence for officer Brian Moore who was killed in the line of duty before the New York Mets take on the Baltimore Orioles in their inter league baseball game at Citi Field.

(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Officers from NYPD stop for a moment of reflection for the victims of 9/11.

(Photo by Mychal Watts/WireImage)

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)

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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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