Violent crime dropped in Portland, Eugene and Gresham in 2009 while it remained essentially unchanged in Salem.

PORTLAND — FBI statistics released Monday show crime falling in Oregon's four largest cities.

Violent crime dropped in Portland, Eugene and Gresham in 2009 while it remained essentially unchanged in Salem. Portland, Eugene and Salem all saw a large decline in property crime while it was up slightly in Gresham. There were 19 murders in Portland last year — seven fewer than in 2008.

The dropped in Oregon crime follows a national trend. The FBI says the violent crime rate in the United States has gone down three years in a row. The property crime rate has fallen for seven consecutive years.

The statistics released Monday are only preliminary. Final figures are due this fall.