Despite a "historic" number of homicides last year, Easton was a safer place in 2012, Mayor Sal Panto said Wednesday.
Panto addressed the city's record six killings in his annual state of the city address, saying that crime actually dropped in Easton last year.
Violent crimes went down 14 percent, the mayor said, with overall crime declining by 16 percent.
Of the six killings last year, police have identified suspects in four cases. One of those four—the death of Matthew Kelly—was ruled self-defense last week by a Northampton County grand jury.
Panto used much of the addresses to review signficant city accomplishments of 2012:
- The arrival of new restaurants like Mesa and Casera.
- New events downtown like the comedy night, polar plunge and Hispanic heritage festival.
- The opening of the Pomeroy building. ("Seven mayors tried, but our team, we succeeded.") Panto also noted that the Cheeburger, Cheeburger restaurant chain had signed a lease to rent part of the Pomeroy space Wednesday.
The mayor also praised the city's volunteers for their work on projects like the Easton Farmers' Market, and the city's first responders for their work during Hurricane Sandy.
"I watched our firefighters fight a fire in 70 mph wind," he said.