11/23/2011 02:48 pm ET

NYPD Deadly Shootings Hit All-Time Low In 2010

The NYPD shot and killed 8 people in 2010, an all-time low for the department which in 1971, shot and killed 93.

New data shows officers fired their weapons only 92 times total in 2010, killing 8 and injuring 16.

The New York Post breaks down the numbers:

Last year, the department recorded 33 intentional shootings in defense of civilians, or of cops themselves. There were 21 accidental discharges, 30 shootings in response to animal attacks, and four instances when civilians obtained and fired cops' guns.

Two cops shot and killed themselves, while two more were arrested for unjustified shootings.

"The improvement is due to police training, restraint, and our success in reducing crime over all," Commissioner Ray Kelly told NY1.

Gothamist takes the statistics with a grain of salt:

It also should be noted that a "firearms discharge" is defined as, "An incident in which an officer of the New York City Police Department discharges any firearm, or when a firearm belonging to an officer of the New York City Police Department is discharged."

In other words, if an officer fires his or her gun 10 times, it only counts as one "firearms discharge."

And so, what comes as good news for a scandal-plagued police force isn't without some less-encouraging statistics. 368 rounds were fired in 2010 compared to 297 in 2009, the report states. Spokesman Paul Browne blamed the uptick on two protracted gun battles that year.

And as for this year? The NYPD's on track to hit an all-time low again as there have been only 83 NYPD-involved shootings in 2011.

As for number of rounds fired this year, the NYPD could see another increase. In August, officers fired their guns 73 times in one Crown Heights shootout, and the hail of bullets may have been responsible for the death of innocent bystander Denise Gay.