ALBANY -- While Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Monday that the latest statistics show a reduction of crime in targeted high-crime areas, state and local officials met to plot how to sustain that and expand the effort.

The summit meeting of local and state police and prosecutors was planned months before last week's death of a trooper from friendly fire in the midst of a manhunt for a man who shot troopers. But the agenda was on topic: The rise in upstate violent crime and improving communication and the sharing of technology and personnel between the state and local law enforcement under Operation Impact operating in 17 municipalities.

"We are seeing some real progress this year in terms of violent crime," Spitzer said, cautioning that the 2007 trend might not continue. But he said the analysis provided Monday shows 55 percent to 65 percent of crimes are committed by people who have already committed crimes -- often many -- in the past.

"Somehow we're not doing what we have to do when we have control," Spitzer said.

"The upward trend in violent crime -- particularly firearm crime in our upstate communities -- is not good news," said Denise O'Donnell, the state director of criminal justice services and a former U.S. attorney. "We are here today with a sense of urgency."

The data released Monday includes criminal activity in the 17 municipalities in which state police joined local police in Operation Impact:

-- Violent crime dropped 10.4 percent to 996 crimes in February, compared to February 2006; and dropped 7.4 percent to 2,246 crimes for the first three months of this year compared to the same period a year ago.

-- Murders stayed the same at 12 for February compared with February 2006; but dropped to 27, or by 6.9 percent, comparing the first three months of each year.

-- Rapes increased 8.5 percent to 51 in February, but dropped 2.4 percent to 120 in the first three months of each year.

-- Robberies dropped 20.8 percent to 389 in February, and dropped 20.2 percent to 921 for the first three months of each year.

Operation Impact operates in Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Jamestown, Kingston, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Spring Valley, Syracuse, Utica and Yonkers.

Members of the Operation Impact Crime Summit will continue to meet to share resources, data and personnel.

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