Richmond (KCBS) – The city of Richmond had a record 61 homicides in 1991; As of Monday, that number sits at 18.

In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that the city of Richmond was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.

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Before there could be any real change, Reverend Andre Shumake, an anti-violence advocate, said the community had to trust the police.

“It was an us against them mindset and we felt that if we were actually going to stop those killings that were taking place, we had to mend those relationships and we had to build the relationships,” he said.

Three years ago, there were 45 homicides. But that total has dipped dramatically this year, as has the overall crime rate.

Richmond police Detective Nicole Abetkov said the department is constantly trying to improve relations within the community.

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“It’s definitely more of a community-orientated policing aspect and the faith-based community is really involved,” she said.

Abetkov said the police department has become more full-service than in year’s past, doing more than just responding to crimes.

Otheree Christian with the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council said things are much different.

“We have a great relationship with police and the police (department) connects with us.”

All this comes as other Bay Area cities like Oakland and San Jose are struggling with a high number of homicides.

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