Posts Tagged ‘New York’

77 precincts in pictures

March 12, 2018

This column from The Architectural League of New York provides photos of the NYPD’s 77 precinct houses. Most were built in the 1960s or earlier.


Compstat today

March 5, 2018

This article provides an in-depth review of Compstat’s evolution in the NYPD since 1994, including the debates over how much credit it deserves for huge drops in crime, the rise and fall of stop-and-frisk, the roles played by Commissioner Bratton and others, to the present version which incorporates public sentiment and NeighborhoodStat. Technology and the availability of crime data have vastly improved but the regular Compstat meetings at One Police Plaza remain central to command accountability across a sprawling organization with 77 precincts.

Lighting reduces crime in NYC public housing

March 4, 2018

This article summarizes an experiment in 2016 testing the impact of enhanced outdoor lighting on crime in 39 public housing sites in New York City. Index crimes declined 7% overall, with a 39% reduction in outdoor crimes at night, over the 6-month study period. Benefits were estimated to exceed costs after 6 years and by 3 1/2 times after 20 years. The full research report is available here.

Cyber crimes under-reported and under-investigated

February 5, 2018

This article discusses the huge challenge facing law enforcement agencies dealing with cyber crimes and other newer forms of hi-tech crime. One impediment is crime reporting systems designed a century ago. Efforts have been underway for 30 years to update and refine the Uniform Crime Reports, without much progress yet.

Getting oversight right

January 24, 2018

This article discusses the pros and cons of various alternatives for achieving police accountability, such as civilian review, police auditors, and special commissions. The public tends to want an independent process but the oversight systems don’t always succeed and they risk diluting the chief or sheriff’s responsibility for discipline. Chicago is cited as one place currently trying several options at once.

“Professional courtesy” run amok

January 23, 2018

The NYPD police union is reducing the number of courtesy cards (also known as “get out of jail free cards”) distributed annually to its active and retired members after finding them for sale on eBay, according to this article. The insidious result of making corruption a job perk, especially a job that is supposed to represent the rule of law, is discussed in this column.

Vision Zero working in NY & San Francisco

January 10, 2018

Vision Zero is a comprehensive traffic safety initiative being implemented in various jurisdictions, with a primary focus on engineering solutions to improve the physical street infrastructure. This article reports that New York and San Francisco both saw “fewer traffic deaths in 2017 than at any point on record.”

Accountability & oversight

December 28, 2017

This article reviews the spotty record of civilian oversight bodies. Many experts agree that empowering police executives to administer discipline is the key to controlling misconduct, whereas civilian review mechanisms sometimes usurp that authority and “let the chief off the hook.” On the flip side, though, reformers tend not to trust police to discipline themselves and therefore demand some kind of external process.

Phantom debt scam

December 9, 2017

Estimates are that Americans are late on $600 billion in payments and 10% are on debt collectors’ lists. That’s a lot of real debt plus an opening for big-time fraud. Here’s an interesting story about a man who got harassed and threatened over a loan he had already repaid, leading him to unravel a huge fake debt scam, the head of which allegedly took in over $2 billion in a decade, bought a private jet, and started his own Ferrari racing team.

Recognition well deserved

November 22, 2017

This article reports the NYPD naming its police academy library in honor of Benjamin Ward, the city’s first African American police commissioner, appointed to that position in 1984. This article reports Prince William County, Virginia naming a new police station after Charlie Deane, their chief from 1988-2012 who led them through contentious immigration issues. This article reports Lou Dekmar, chief in Lagrange, Georgia and current IACP President, honored at the Kennedy Center in DC by the Anti-Defamation League as “a bridge builder for racial reconciliation in the south.”