PATERSON, N.J. -- Crime overall in Paterson continued to drop in 2016, reaching a 30-year low, records show.
"We also had a 25-year low in violent crime," city Police Director Jerry Speziale announced.
Total crime in Paterson went from 5,060 in 2014 to 4,852 in 2015 to 4,292 last year, according to the state Uniform Crime Report.
That included homicides, which went from 26 in 2014 to 19 each of the past two years.
Robberies also dropped from 611 three years ago to 551 in 2016. Aggravated assaults were down from 540 to 499.
The biggest reduction, however, was in reported burglaries -- from 1,182 in 2015 to 957 last year.
Reported rapes increased to 57 from 42 due to a change in the definition of the offense, Speziale said.
Overall, the total reported crime decreased by 15%, authorities said.
Authorities credited a "serious investment in Paterson’s human capital," including the hiring of additional police officers, a partnership with John Jay University, work with community leaders on the Safe Cities Initiative and other programs.
“Much of the reason for the steady decrease in crime over the years can be attributed to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the Paterson Police Department,” Speziale said.
City officials and police "will continue to work together to find new and innovative approaches to further reduce crime and improve our resident’s quality of life," Speziale said.
"Crime fighting and instilling trust in the community is a continuous work-in-progress and we will continue to diligently fight towards making Paterson a safer city," he added.