New York and Chicago are two cities moving in entirely different directions when it comes to murder rates. In New York City in 2012, there have been 414 homicides, the lowest number of murders since 1963, the first year such statistics were kept. Chicago on the other hand, despite attempting to stay away from the number 500, did in fact record its 500th homicide of 2012. New York City has three times the population of Chicago, so Chicagoans are now four times more likely to be murder victims than New Yorker’s. According to crime statistics 2012 vs 2011, the number of New York homicides, decreased by 19.6 percent, while the number of Chicago homicides, increased by 15.6 percent. There are many theories as to why this is the case but the most important reason might be funding. In NYC, according to the Preliminary Budget Report, put forth by the Bloomberg Administration, “The Fiscal 2012 February Financial Plan would constitute a net decrease of $19.6 million (four-tenths of one percent) below the Departments Fiscal 2011 Adopted Budget appropriation of $4.47 billion.” Although a slight drop, the Mayor essentially left the budget in tact from the previous year. Meanwhile, according to NBC News, “Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, facing a $300 million budget deficit, by contrast cut $67 million from the $1.3 billion police budget — a 5 percent reduction that was down from his original proposal to cut police funding by 15 percent.” To think such a deep cut would have little impact in the crime rate, is naive, especially in a city where gang violence is so prevalent. Another possible reason for the low murder rate, is Mayor Bloomberg’s staunch committment to removing illegal guns from the street. No one, (including NRA members), wants illegal guns in the hands of dangerous criminals. And yet one more reason, despite his liberal social leanings, Bloomberg is in favor of the controversial “stop and frisk” policy. It’s controversial for two reasons, first, the vast majority (84%) of those stopped, are black or Latino. Second, only 6% of those stopped resulted in arrests. But there are those who believe it’s a good deterrent to crime. It’s being challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) for the aforementioned reasons. The trial date is set for March. In the meantime, Bloomberg is only too happy to tout the fact that New York remains the safest, big city in America.