Major violent crimes reported to Suffolk County police were down 10.4 percent from 2009 to 2010, according to preliminary year-end department numbers.
Despite the overall drop in violent crime, it was Suffolk's deadliest year since at least 1988. There were 50 murders and manslaughters in the county in 2010, up from 32 the previous year - a 56 percent increase. Suffolk has had an average of 32 murders a year between 2003 and 2009, according to state crime data.
In Nassau, the overall reduction in violent crime reported to the police department was down 9 percent from 2009 to 2010.
The number of murders overall in Nassau fell from 31 in 2009 to 27 last year. Sexual crimes, including rape as well as criminal sexual acts and sexual abuse, fell from 124 in 2009 to 101 last year.
The number of noncommercial robberies reported to the Nassau County Police Department and most village police departments in the county fell nearly 10 percent. Felony assaults and residential burglaries remained steady.
Violent crime categories are murder and manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The homicide numbers, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy said, resulted in part from "a number of gang-related homicides, and the crackdown we engaged in the next several months seemed to have brought that under control. There was a major hit in the early part of the year in Huntington Station for instance, and once we completed all our [enforcement] programs, we wind up having a 44 percent cut in violent crime in the last four months of the year."
Serious property crimes in Suffolk like burglary and felony larceny, which represent a larger percentage of major crime overall, remained steady.
In Suffolk, "Part 2" crimes, representing mostly misdemeanor offenses like simple drug possession, criminal mischief and drunken driving, were down nearly 7 percent.
Overall violent crime in Suffolk was up 4.7 percent between 2008 and 2009.
At a news conference at Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's Mineola office Tuesday, Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey pegged the crime drop in part to the department's intelligence center, which analyzes information from officers, license plate scanners, social networking sites, gunshot recording devices and reports from other agencies.
"Relevant, useful police intelligence that comes from that huge pile of information is then pumped right out to the cop in the street in his radio car and put at his fingertips, literally," he said.
The Nassau data include crimes reported to the county department and village police departments. The areas covered by the Long Beach Police Department are not included. The department's crime categories do not include every type of reported crime as tabulated by state and federal officials.
Major violent crime in reported to Nassau County remained about the same between 2008 and 2009.