No homicides occurred in East Palo Alto in 2023, city officials said this week.

East Palo Alto Mayor Antonio Lopez attributed this to “astute decision-making.”

“In 2023, the Council voted to increase police pay and budget after the City endured significant staff turnover. I am grateful to the leadership of City Manager Melvin Gaines and Chief of Police Jeff Liu, both long-time public servants for the city who in their first years under their new roles have delivered! Together, we will usher a safer, more prosperous East Palo Alto!” Lopez said in a statement.

The homicide-free milestone is a remarkable turnaround for a city that a little more than three decades ago received the dubious title of the nation’s most dangerous city, with a homicide rate that outpaced those of larger cities such as Oakland and Washington, D.C.

City officials back then attributed the violence to the presence of gang activity and a flourishing drug trade.

Commenting on the city’s new image, East Palo Alto Vice Mayor Martha Barragan cited the collaboration of the community and pivotal role of local churches in achieving this feat.

“This is the result of unity and organizing,” she said.