By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN
Follow on Twitter: @SkastenbaumCNN
Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.
(CNN) – New York ended 2012 with a historic low murder rate – 414 killings in all. It's the lowest the figure has been since police started keeping track in 1963.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg gives much of the credit to a combination of police tactics and some of the toughest gun laws in the country.
However, there is much more going on than stringent policing.
[3:02] "If you stake out a piece of territory like SOS has, basically a two square mile grid, we can suppress shootings here. We can lower the number of shootings here and the outreach team here has done that,” said Alan James, program manager at Save Our Streets Crown Heights, a community based project fighting gun violence in one Brooklyn neighborhood.
Over the past few years shootings in Crown Heights have dropped 40% thanks in part to the case workers at SOS Crown Heights.
[3:22] “They actually are making direct contact with the small number of people in the neighborhood who actually do the shootings. Only a small number of people have a huge impact with this kind of behavior,” said James.