Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

METAIRIE, La. -- Crime in Jefferson Parish was down in 2012, according to statistics released from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Newell Normand said 2012 had the lowest crime rate in decades in Jefferson Parish.

Statistics show Jefferson Parish saw 33 murders in 2012, down from 49 in 2011 -- a 32.7 percent drop. Overall crime dropped 4.8 percent in 2012 over 2011; it's the lowest rate since 1974.

What accounts for the decrease? Normand said part of it has to do with a nationwide drop in crime. He said citizen tips and cooperation is another vital piece of the puzzle. And the boots on the ground and quality-of-life programs are another key.

'Our officers give a damn,' said Normand, 'and they put themselves at risk each and every day, and really this is a testament of their hard work, and I cannot tell you how incredibly proud I am of this organization as a whole.'

Normand said initiatives started decades ago, like community policing, have led to a steady decline in crime. He also said there is a concerted effort to make sure felons don't have firearms. Normand said fighting crime takes a holistic approach.

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