Minneapolis reported six homicides in the first half of 2009, the lowest mid-year number since the 1940s.
The city reported 18 homicides halfway through 2008. At the time, local officials heralded the figure as the lowest since 2001.
Minneapolis Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Jesse Garcia attributed the decrease to the work of the city's Violent Offender Task Force, prosecutors, homicide investigators, patrol officers, and community members.
Garcia said that improved police response times have led to fewer deaths from violent crimes. "Ten years ago, many of these people would have passed away," Garcia said.
St. Paul reported 7 homicides this year, the same number reported halfway through 2008.
St. Paul police spokesperson Sgt. Paul Schnell emphasized that, although the city did not see a decrease in homicides, the number remains low.
Garcia expressed agreement with Schnell's appraisal. "Together, this is a huge overall drop in a metro-area with two large cities," he said.