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L.A. on track for record-low number of killings, police chief says

September 23, 2010 |  2:42 pm

Beck Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday that the city is on pace to finish the year with fewer than 300 homicides, which would mark about a 75% decline in killings since the city’s peak in the early 1990s, reaching a low not seen in several decades.

To date this year, 216 people have been killed at the hands of another -- compared with 236 homicides in the same period last year. In total, the city finished 2009 with 314 killings.

Beck made his comments during a luncheon speech hosted by the civic group Town Hall Los Angeles. He was touting the overall 7.5% decline in all categories of serious violent and property crime the city has experienced this year.

Barring a major surge in crime over the next few months, it would be the ninth consecutive year that crime rates have fallen in L.A., Beck said.

But it is the homicide rate that garners the most attention. Beck compared the current total with 1992, when nearly 1,200 people were killed.

-- Joel Rubin at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel

Photo: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report