NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – 2011 was the first time since 1963 that murders in Brooklyn dropped below 200.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller On The Story

New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly says the encouraging statistic is no coincidence when you consider the strong two-year partnership they’ve developed with the Brooklyn clergy.

“It’s also no coincidence that after the coalition’s formation, that murder in Brooklyn North fell by 16 percent last year, almost four times better than the citywide averages declined,” said Kelly on Thursday.

Bishop Gerald Seabrooks says they’ve sponsored gun buyback programs and have reached out to gang leaders to discourage criminal activity.

“Why are you shooting each other? You’re a neighborhood. We want to be a community. That’s our goal, to make a community and a safe community,” he said. “I believe that in the African American community there has been a conscious awakening.”

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