SF officials working to reduce homicides

January 2, 2009 12:59:35 PM PST
San Francisco city officials and police are starting the year off by trying to figure out how to cut down on the number of homicides in the city.

After reclassifying one case that investigators say did not fit the definition of a homicide, police officials say there were 97 homicides in 2008.

The city's 2008 homicide count was above the average for the past three decades of 90 killings a year.

But it's also up from a period when San Francisco averaged 64 homicides a year from 2000 to 2003.

Police in Oakland are also dealing with a spike in some violent crimes, though murders are down. Officials say there were 123 homicides in Oakland in 2008 compared to 127 in 2007.

San Francisco police say they made some progress during the year in cutting down on gun violence. Officials say homicides were down in four of the five high-crime zones.