NYC on Track for Lowest Murders on Record Chicago, meanwhile, just hit 500 By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Dec 29, 2012 6:52 AM CST 15 comments Comments A new police officer grins during a police academy graduation ceremony in New York, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Newser) – Two big cities, two opposite trends: New York City expects to record its lowest number of homicides since record-keeping began in 1963, reports AP. The city has had 414 this year, down nearly 20% from last year and well under the previous low of 471 in 2009. The city also has seen 1,353 shootings, again well below the previous low of 1,420 in 2009. Mayor Bloomberg and police credit the controversial "stop and frisk" policy in part for the numbers. Chicago has hit the unfortunate milestone of 500 homicides this year, reports the Tribune. It's a "tragic number that is reflective of the gang violence and proliferation of illegal guns that have plagued some of our neighborhoods," says the police superintendent. It's also the first time in four years the city has hit the 500-mark, though the Trib points out that Chicago had nearly twice that number in 1992. The city had 435 homicides last year, notes AP.