But for Utica, 2012 was a year with a single homicide, a number the city hadn't seen since 1980, according to UPD officials.
And it was in 1977 when there were no homicides throughout the entire year.
"It's definitely very good for Utica," said Oneida County District Attorney, Scott McNamara.
McNamara says the average homicide rate in the city is four or five per year.
The highest number, he says, was back in the 1990's with eight to twelve a year.
"When we had a lot, they were typically drug related homicides," he said.
With drugs a common factor in the spike in the 90's, McNamara says the decrease in numbers partly has to do with luck, and community involvement.
"They have a No Homicides Over the Summer program which they started, which was very successful," said McNamara.
Sgt. Steve Hauck with the Utica Police Department says the homicide rate isn't the only low rate in 2012.
He says this was the lowest rate of people hit by gunfire since 1984.
"That's encouraging. We've had some challenges because of the budget with other areas of crime, but at least in this particular aspect of the crime, homicides and assaults by gunshots, we've made some headway on it," said Sgt. Hauck.
And along with 2012 being a year with low rates, it was also a year with cuts to the department.
But, Sgt. Hauck says with crimes like homicides and gunfire, there's not less officers responding as there were in the past.
"Where we're seeing problems with the cuts is follow up investigations and some of the lesser crimes because you don't have the people," he said.