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June 10th, 2003, 08:06 AM
June 10, 2003

Under Bloomberg, Crime Falls Again


In the last 17 months, as crime began to increase around the country, many people began to question whether New York City had reached the limits of its crime-fighting successes.

With the Giuliani administration gone and a persistent budget deficit and antiterrorism demands eating away at the resources of the New York Police Department, many New Yorkers began to sense that crime was on the rise.

But statistics show that crime has continued to fall, and the Bloomberg administration says the credit should go to a series of highly selective crime-fighting initiatives that has won significant victories in the streets.

Operation Impact, for example, redeployed 800 police officers into 61 crime pockets around the city. Since then, according to the latest statistics available from the mayor's office, homicides in those areas have dropped nearly 47 percent compared with the same period last year, while robberies fell 43 percent and grand larceny crimes dropped 31 percent.

Operation Spotlight targets a small group of chronic misdemeanor offenders who commit a disproportionate share of crimes and sends them to a special court for stricter sentencing. The number of those offenders sentenced to jail has increased 46 percent from last year, and the percentage of those defendants held on bail has increased nearly 20 percent over the same time last year, the statistics show.

A program that focuses on those quality-of-life offenders who by every indicator seem to vex New Yorkers the most — the noisy — has yielded 55,000 summonses and more than 800 felony arrests.

During his mayoral campaign, Michael R. Bloomberg's law enforcement message, such that it was, centered on a basic theme: Rudolph W. Giuliani had put the lid on crime, and if elected, Mr. Bloomberg would try to keep it there. But crime clearly took a back seat to his other priorities, like education.

Mr. Bloomberg, who came to the job with no crime-fighting background, has relied on the advice of his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, and his criminal justice coordinator, John Feinblatt. The administration says it has come up with ways to make crime drop further, by zeroing in on the most intransigent pockets of criminality.

It has done that by keeping the key Giuliani-era crime fighting program, Compstat, a system that uses data to measure where crime is most persistent.

But the Bloomberg team has taken Compstat even further, using the statistics to sharpen its crime-fighting focus beyond merely making more arrests.

"The two administrations are night and day when it comes to fighting crime," said Jeffrey A. Fagan, a professor of law and public health at Columbia University and an expert on crime in New York City.

"Giuliani launched large-scale initiatives citywide under the broad-brush theory about disorder," Professor Fagan said. The Bloomberg administration, he said, has "done a very, very good job of being highly selective in terms of how they use their resources."

Clearly, Mr. Bloomberg benefited from inheriting a city where crime rates had fallen dramatically in recent years, as they did in most of the nation's large cities. But while crime rates seem to have leveled off or crept up in other cities in the last year or so, in New York, much to the surprise of many experts, the rates continue to fall.

Major crime over all has fallen 8 percent this year from the same period last year, and dropped in every category except rape. Reports of felony assaults, for instance, have dropped 10.7 percent, according to administration figures, and shootings are down 10.3 percent.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, total violent crime and property crime reported to law enforcement agencies across the country during the first six months of 2002 increased by 1.3 percent compared with the same period in 2001.

Mr. Bloomberg is many things to many people — school reformer, cigarette hater, tax raiser — but the crime fighter reputation still appears to belong to his predecessor.

"The public understands that they are safe in this city in ways they have not been in modern memory," Mr. Bloomberg said in a telephone interview on Sunday. And the mayor, who is not a fan of self-promotion, even when it involves his most successful programs, thinks people will soon associate that accomplishment with him. "They will in a re-election campaign, you may rest assured," he said.

Mr. Bloomberg announced his first anti-crime initiative before he was sworn into office. Operation Clean Sweep was aimed at so-called quality-of-life crimes, apparently to send a message to New Yorkers that he would not let Mr. Giuliani's efforts go by the wayside.

His administration's more recent initiatives have been more narrowly focused. Early this year, Mr. Kelly announced Operation Impact, which uses recent police academy graduates to step up enforcement in 61 neighborhoods where shootings and other crimes appeared to be rising. Crime in those areas has fallen 36.5 percent since the program began, according to police statistics.

"Operation Impact is a perfect example of going beyond self-imposed boundaries," Mr. Kelly said. "We deployed our resources on those locations where crime was worst, and the numbers show those efforts have been a great success."

Operation Spotlight, announced in May 2002, illustrates several hallmarks of Mr. Bloomberg's way of doing business. It makes extensive use of technology, it forces agencies and offices that traditionally compete for resources and attention to work together and it focuses on very specific problems that need fixing.

The program began concentrating on thousands of petty criminals who seemed to be recycling through the criminal justice system. Using a computer program, repeat misdemeanor offenders are identified at the time of their arrests, then sent to be arraigned in a special part of Criminal Court in each borough. The cases receive priority treatment there, and the defendants ostensibly face lengthier sentences.

The program expanded and now all five boroughs have courts that speed up and toughen sentencing of felons who violate their probation. Brooklyn also has a special court to handle all felony gun possession cases from five Brooklyn neighborhoods — Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Brownsville and East New York — where a quarter of the city's shootings occur.

More than 10,000 arrests were made in the first seven months of Operation Spotlight, and jail sentences longer than 30 days have increased 55 percent. The Brooklyn gun court began in April, but of the cases disposed so far, 100 percent have resulted in conviction and jail sentences, according to city officials.

"He is not just interested in arrests," Mr. Feinblatt said of Mr. Bloomberg, "He wants to pull the thread through. `What is the outcome here? Are people going to jail? Are the right people being supervised?' You want to focus on the criminals who you already have under supervision, or who are already on parole but at risk."

Mr. Feinblatt cited another initiative, the use of digital technology on 911 tapes to better catch and prosecute domestic violence offenders. "There is nothing more chilling and persuasive when somebody was getting battered than to hear the utterance of the domestic violence victim on the phone screaming for help," Mr. Feinblatt said.

John E. Eck, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati who studies policing and crime prevention across the nation, said that targeted policing efforts and better coordination of every aspect of criminal justice have been used successfully around the country.

Many of the Bloomberg administration's programs, however, hark back to old-fashioned law enforcement techniques.

"Ray Kelly came up through the same generation I did, that addressed crime with swiftly instilling in offenders' minds that apprehension and punishment will be swift and sure," said Edward Mamet, a 40-year veteran of the New York Police Department who now works as a police consultant.

Perhaps helping the drop in crime is the administration's relationship with minority groups, which appears better than that of the prior administration, even in the wake of two recent controversial cases in which black New Yorkers died as a result of actions by the police. This may stem from the administration's speedy attempts to take responsibility for police errors, and its overall efforts to improve community outreach.

"When we came into office," Mr. Kelly said, "we talked about the three C's: crime, counterterrorism and community relations. If there is a theme, it is that those three things have to be given co-equal status."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

June 11th, 2003, 07:46 AM
I wonder if Bloomberg will get booed for this?

Mostly overlooked, but his smartest move may have been rehiring Ray Kelly as police commissioner.

An article from NYPD news:

On a bright October day several weeks after the attack on the World Trade Center, Ray Kelly and his wife, Veronica, were allowed to return to their Battery Park City apartment for the first time. Though they weren't permitted to move back in (that wouldn't happen for nearly two months), they were able, at least, to survey the scene and to take whatever personal items they could carry. Before the Kellys left the building, a block from the Trade Center, they went up to the roof to look around. Though he had been to ground zero several times, Kelly was stunned by the view overlooking the site: "For the first time, I really saw the breadth and the scope of the damage. What had been our neighborhood -- gone. Literally gone. The whole thing. We loved the area, and we were now looking at a pile of rubble that had been like our town."

As they stood on the roof in the afternoon sunlight, his wife quietly weeping, they tried to pick out familiar landmarks in the ruins -- the bank, a bookstore. For Kelly, there was a moment of clarity. The kind that a Marine colonel and 31-year veteran of the NYPD would have. "It's not like I hadn't thought about it before. But standing there, the whole scene crystallized for me that this was war and I didn't want to be on the sidelines," says Kelly, who after nearly four decades of an extraordinary life in public service -- highlighted by a stint as police commissioner in the David Dinkins administration -- had finally settled into a prestigious directorship at Bear Stearns. A job, by the way, that he loved.

"I knew that I wanted to do something," he says. "When you're in government, you don't have much money, but you do have a certain amount of power. You have the ability to make a difference, and I knew at that moment that's what mattered most."

At the time, Kelly had no immediate prospects, even though he'd been advising candidate Michael Bloomberg on law-enforcement issues for nearly a year. To begin with, Bloomberg was, only a few weeks before the election, still an almost laughable long shot. But even if Bloomberg did somehow manage a huge upset, the two men had never discussed a role for Kelly in a Bloomberg administration. In fact, Kelly had convinced the rookie politician that continuity was critical and that he should try to persuade Commissioner Bernard Kerik to stay on.

Even on Election Night, when Bloomberg's improbable victory was assured and it was clear Kerik would not stay, Kelly could be heard in Bloomberg's suite thinking out loud about whom they could get for that job. It wasn't until the next day that Kelly began to seriously think about the possibility of becoming New York's police commissioner, again, himself. The official call came two days later. Kelly was walking on Lexington Avenue when Mayor-elect Bloomberg paged him. They had a brief conversation during which the offer was made, and Kelly said he'd call him back -- which he did, rather quickly, to accept.

"It was an opportunity to get back in the business that I know in an organization that I love," says Kelly, who points out, as evidence of his fealty to the NYPD, that in 1993 he turned down the directorship of the FBI to stay on as police commissioner. "This is the best law-enforcement job in the country. But more than anything, I wanted to be a player at this critical time in the history of the city and the history of the department."

So Kelly has once again gotten his chance to serve. But the old aphorism "Be careful what you wish for" may soon begin to haunt him. For weeks, the city's tabloids have been dotted with panting headlines about a rise in shootings, a spike in murders, record numbers of homeless people on the streets, and even the return of the squeegee men. And these reports are often accompanied by opinion pieces issuing grave warnings about a post-Giuliani return to mayhem and disorder.

Some of the pieces impugn Kelly's qualifications simply by associating him with the Dinkins administration -- the op-ed equivalent of warning shots fired in Kelly's direction.

Eight years later, there is the lingering accusation that Kelly was, if not exactly soft on crime, at least willing to accept much of the pre-Giuliani conventional wisdom that there was little cops could actually do about it. When I ask Kelly about this, his demeanor changes. He visibly stiffens but is reluctant to engage. He has nothing to gain from fighting old battles. Especially now. "Was I annoyed about some things that might've been said? Sure. But that's ancient history" is as far as he'll go.

Kelly did, however, begin to move the department in the right direction. Crime went down every month he was police commissioner, which was surprising enough at the time because the Police Department had never actually succeeded in reducing crime. But whatever good he did was completely overshadowed by the Bill Bratton revolution that followed. For Kelly, it's a little like being Buck Showalter -- the guy who managed the Yankees before Joe Torre.

"Ray wants to vindicate himself," says someone who knows him well. "He may have been on his way to do great things, but the plug was pulled on him by Rudy Giuliani. He was sent packing not really having done anything wrong but not having had the time to accomplish much. He's also a little embarrassed at what happened when Bratton came in. You know, the fact that he wasn't the one who figured it out."

Besides, the Police Department's enormous success under Giuliani conceals the fact that it's quietly been slipping toward crisis. "From a distance, the NYPD looks like a brand-new, shiny Cadillac," says John Timoney, who just resigned as Philadelphia's immensely popular police commissioner. "But as you get closer, you see that the shiny new car has a seized engine. So Ray's got to go in and fix the engine. There's an awful lot of heavy lifting involved. But even if he is able to get it all done, it'll be a thankless task. He won't get any credit for it because everyone will say, 'The car was fine. I saw it myself.' "

Timoney, who worked for Kelly in the NYPD back in the early nineties and was promoted to first deputy commissioner by Bratton, knows better than most people the bitter irony in this situation. "I think he's getting screwed royally," Timoney says in no uncertain terms. "The first time around, Ray took over as police commissioner more than halfway through another man's term, and I think he did a very good job. Believe me, I know how hard he worked. He set the table for Bratton. But he got no credit. This time, as they say in Brooklyn, it's even worser. The place is a mess, and there'll be very little money to do anything. So in some respects, he's been handed a poisoned chalice. But he's the most qualified man in America to deal with it."

You could almost make the case that Ray Kelly ought to have the office on the fourteenth floor of One Police Plaza based solely on the way he looks. Small, compact, and still tautly muscled from his five-day-a-week workouts, Kelly appears every sinewy inch the Marine he used to be: from his impossibly tight little stubble of a crewcut, which looks more like someone's five o'clock shadow than like a grown man's hairdo, to his highly shined shoes. And then there's the face, that amazing snub-nosed .45 of a kisser that seems to capture once and for all time what a cop in the NYPD ought to look like.

When you get to his qualifications, Kelly actually looks even better -- he's the most credentialed, experienced commissioner the department has ever had. He has a law degree from St. John's, which he earned while juggling rotating shifts as a cop. He has a master's in law from NYU, which he earned while working around his four-to-midnight shift. And he has a master's from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

He was undersecretary of the Treasury, in charge of the Secret Service; of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and of the Customs Service. He also ran the Customs Service alone for three years. He was on the executive committee of Interpol, and for six months, he was in Haiti on behalf of the State Department to establish and train a police force. Oh, and before settling in with the NYPD, he did a tour of duty in Vietnam with the Marines.

June 17th, 2003, 08:23 PM
PR- 164-03
June 16, 2003


City Falls Seven More Notches Nationwide in FBI Report

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly today announced that the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Reports for 2002 ranks New York City even lower in overall crime than it ranked in 2001. *According to FBI statistics, the City experienced a 4.5% drop in overall crime; the national average was a drop of only 0.2%. Moreover, the New York City ranked 203rd out of 225 cities across the nation on the total crime index; in 2001, the city ranked 196th.

“New York City has not only retained its title as the safest big city in the country, it has defied the odds and the economy to become even safer,” Mayor Bloomberg said. *“The men and women of the Police Department, led superbly by Commissioner Kelly, have done an incredible job implementing successful anti-crime initiatives and are doing it with fewer officers as well as the increased responsibilities of counter-terrorism. * From Operation Clean Sweep, the quality-of-life enforcement program which we announced in the first days of our administration, to Operation Spotlight, where we have focused the resources of the courts to make sure persistent misdemeanants serve meaningful sentences, we have kept driving crime down and making the streets safer for the people of this great City.”

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the men and women of this Department, we have made New York City the safest it's been in decades,” Commissioner Kelly said. “I want to commend them for their commitment to keep crime down to record levels. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the New York City Police Department that our City enjoys its status as the safest big city in the country.”

The FBI's total crime index ranks cities of 100,000 people or more by the number of crimes per 100,000 people. *For 2002, the total crime index in New York City was 3,140 crimes per 100,000 people. *Out of the 225 cities, which are ranked, New York City now ranks 203, between Garden Grove, California, and Henderson, Nevada—a drop of seven from last year. *Out of the nation's 10 largest cities, New York City ranked 10th with the fewest overall crimes on the total crime index. *Out of the nation’s 25 largest cities, it ranked 24th, just behind San Jose, California.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The following list shows where New York City ranked out of the 25 largest cities in seven crime categories, and where the City ranked in 2001.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *2002 *2001
Murder * * * * * * * * * * * 20th *20th
Forcible Rape * * * * * * *25th *25th
Robbery * * * * * * * * * * 15th *13th
Aggravated Assault * * *15th *16th
Burglary * * * * * * * * * * 24th *23rd
Larceny-Theft * * * * * * 24th *24th
Motor Vehicle Theft * * *25th *23rd
Total Crime Index * * * * 24th *24th

Six out of seven crime categories dropped significantly in New York last year but climbed nationwide. *Homicides fell 9.1%, while increasing .8% nationwide. *Motor vehicle theft fell 10.1%, while increasing 1.2% nationwide. Burglaries fell by 4.8%, while increasing 1.5% nationwide.


Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958

Michael O’Looney (NYPD)
(646) 610-8989

June 17th, 2003, 09:07 PM
This is terrible. We are becoming so politically correct.

TLOZ Link5
June 17th, 2003, 09:44 PM
What happened to that perception of the festering sewer that had so been implanted in the psyche of Middle America?

June 18th, 2003, 10:56 AM
Damn this safe city crap - give me some Central Park rapings, some subway stabbings, and some smelly cab drivers. *That's what NY's all about!

June 18th, 2003, 01:40 PM
Billyblanco, I must apologize, but I really don't want "Central Park rapings, some subway stabbings, or some smelly cab drivers." I doubt that too many want to go back to the porn-filled, addict-filled old Times Square either, or back to the old days of whole walls of graffiti, homeless bums or hookers on every corner, and the like. *

June 18th, 2003, 05:30 PM
Sorry, I was being sarcastic.

TLOZ Link5
June 20th, 2003, 06:52 PM
NY Post:



June 20, 2003 -- The murder rate is skyrocketing in New York City, with a 17.5 percent spike in slayings over the last four weeks pushing the overall number of killings 5.4 percent above last year's figure, The Post has learned.

In the four-week period ended last Sunday, the city counted 47 murders, compared with 40 in the same period last year.
Alarmed by the increase, police commanders have called a round of emergency meetings at their downtown headquarters to plot a response to the problem.

Supervisors from Brooklyn North were called to One Police Plaza yesterday for a "Compstat" session, two days after commanders from Manhattan North faced a similar grilling about the increase in killings within their precincts.
Both meetings - which insiders have dubbed "Spike-stat" to reflect the sudden and sharp spurt of violence - were set up early Monday morning, following a weekend of violence in which 11 people were killed.

The unusually high level of bloodshed was troubling for City Hall, which had proudly announced FBI statistics showed the Big Apple to be one of the safest big cities in America.

Although crime is at a 40-year low, the number of slayings - a bellwether category - this year has reached 254 as of Sunday.
During the same period last year, the city tallied 241 killings.

Last week, two boroughs that had no murders during the preceding seven-day period had five each, contributing to an overall 120 percent jump, from 10 citywide to 22.

The hastily-called police summits - where top brass quiz supervisors about crime within their commands - focused on whether cops were properly deployed against drug dealers and other criminals while the NYPD is shrinking because of budget constraints.
Police officials said the ability of the NYPD to obtain up-to-the-minute crime data lets them immediately zero in on a trouble spot before it becomes an entrenched situation with similar "Spike-stat" sessions.
An NYPD spokesman said the brass frequently summon commanders when they spot spikes in other crime categories.

Last year, there were 584 killings. If the present pace continues, the number of homicides could exceed 620 by year's end.


620 still isn't that many in proportion to New York's size, yet this should still be a matter of grave concern. *If that number is constant, then the murder rate would be (620/82 = ) 7.56 per 100,000 people, which is still well below the national average, and still lower than in most other American cities.

So long as we're talking about crime...Fabb, I have a question. *I read in a book about Paris that in 1996 there was a total of 80 murders there out of a city of 2.2 million. *That's less than half the homicide rate in New York, but I'd like to ask what it's like now?

June 21st, 2003, 01:48 AM
June 21, 2003

Killings Rise in Manhattan, Worrying Morgenthau


District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau of Manhattan said yesterday that he was concerned about an increase in killings in the borough this year that has helped drive up the citywide murder rate by a little more than 5 percent, despite an overall decline in reported crime citywide.

The city's homicide rate, which has decreased over the last 10 years by nearly 70 percent to levels not seen since the 1960's, can occasionally rise at some point in a given year but by year's end show a decrease. But Mr. Morgenthau's statements suggest that he believes that the rise in killings in Manhattan represents a disturbing trend.

"I am concerned about the increase in homicides," Mr. Morgenthau said in a telephone interview. "It's not a crisis but it's one of those things where you want to catch it before it gets out of control; you want to catch it before it becomes a crisis."

One city official said that Mr. Morgenthau, along with the city's four other district attorneys, has been fighting to stave off pending budget cuts, and suggested he was using the rise in the murder rate to make a case for more funds for his office.

From Jan. 1 to June 15, 46 people were slain in Manhattan, up from 33 for the same period last year, an increase of roughly 40 percent, according to police statistics. The additional killings in Manhattan correspond to a 5.42 percent increase in killings citywide over the same period last year, to 254 from 241, while overall reported serious crime has dropped 7.90 percent.

Mr. Morgenthau's office has been credited with helping bring down the homicide rate in Manhattan by focusing on several drug gangs in the 1990's that were responsible for scores of murders.

Michael P. O'Looney, the police department's deputy commissioner for public information, said in an e-mail message that there were just 83 killings last year in Manhattan, the fewest in more than a century, something he called a "remarkable achievement" when examined in its historical context. In 1937, he said, there were 217 homicides; in 1950, 159 and in 1975, the year Mr. Morgenthau took office, there were 646. In the last 10 years alone, the rate of killings in Manhattan has fallen by 80 percent, he said.

"As of June 15, there have been 46 homicides in the borough, again an exceptionally low number by any measure and on pace to end the year with fewer than 100 murders," he said. "One homicide is one homicide too many, but when you take a broad view, the murder rate remains near an all-time low."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

July 2nd, 2003, 09:03 AM
July 2, 2003

Mayor Extending Focus on Crime Hot Spots


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that the New York Police Department would extend its Operation Impact crime-fighting program, which he credited with helping to bring down crime. The department will use overtime to continue the initiative, which posts officers in crime hot spots across the city.

It is the second time the administration has extended the program, which began in January and initially put about 1,500 rookie officers on the street in 61 crime pockets as soon as they graduated from the Police Academy. The decision came just days after police officials said the program would be eliminated as part of the department's budget cuts.

Mr. Bloomberg disclosed the plan just hours before he swore in a new class of 1,350 recruits at the academy. He said overtime would be used to replace some of the Operation Impact officers, many of whom have been reassigned to precincts in recent months to replace officers who have been retiring. When the new academy class graduates in six months, some of those rookies will be assigned to impact posts, he said.

Mr. Bloomberg, in a wide-ranging speech to the Citizens Crime Commission that focused on his administration's criminal justice initiatives, said Operation Impact had reduced crime in targeted areas by 35 percent in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2002. He said that helped drive crime down 8 percent citywide for the first six months of this year.

"It's just too important to keeping crime down in the city to let it lapse," the mayor said of Operation Impact.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, who fielded reporters' questions with the mayor after the speech, said he could not yet say how many of the Operation Impact officers would be replaced. But he said the department would spend about $20 million on the initiative until the new academy class graduates.

In his speech, Mr. Bloomberg touched on criminal justice programs that he hailed as unqualified successes. The speech and the extension of Operation Impact come at a time when the mayor has seen his approval ratings plummet despite accomplishments in balancing the city's budget and in maintaining the crime declines of the last decade. One aide said the speech represented an effort to highlight the administration's crime-fighting successes.

When Operation Impact began, 980 officers on overtime shifts were sent to crime hot spots in the five boroughs each day, a senior police official said. The initiative was envisioned as a three-month program, but it was extended at the end of March, when 526 officers were assigned to the posts each day.

During the program's first two months, before the academy class graduated and rookies took over the posts, the department spent about $3 million on the initiative, the official said, and a total of $11.5 million has been spent so far. Officials hope that the additional $20 million in overtime will allow the department to raise the number of officers assigned to the posts. Many officers currently at the posts will be shifted to precincts to fill positions left by those who retire, the official said.

The mayor said another department initiative would give judges and prosecutors in all criminal cases digital recordings of 911 calls when they weigh bail for defendants. The practice is now available only for domestic violence cases.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 2nd, 2003, 06:55 PM
New York Daily News

Crime rate plummets to good-ol'-days level


Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

Cops are the true heroes of New York.

Through November, major crime is down 5.6% compared with last year - making city streets the safest they have been in at least 35 years, harking back to a time when John Lindsay was mayor and "Oliver!" won the Oscar for Best Picture.

It's a success story that cuts across all boroughs, from the mean streets of Brooklyn's East New York to tonier addresses on Park Ave., and in all crime categories.

The latest good news continues a remarkable 10-year trend that exploded under then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who oversaw double-digit declines in all serious crimes.

Now, Mayor Bloomberg has picked up where Giuliani left off.

The numbers tell the story:

* Murder has had a startling 69.6% decline over the last decade.

* There are 38.6% fewer rapes now than there were in 1993.

Even felonious assaults have plummeted 70.1% in the past 10 years.
Some doubted the NYPD would be able to keep crime's remarkable slide going, especially when budget cuts have shrunk the force and anti-terrorism demands have increased.

"A lot of people are going to have egg on their face because they predicted the crime rate could not go any lower," said Eli Silverman, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

"The Police Department proved them wrong, and showed the public that they could do even more with less," Silverman said. "All in all, it is quite striking - especially when nationwide, the trend is crime is going up."

The murder rate this year has inched up ever so slightly, with 538 homicides through November, four more than during the same period last year. Rape - which had spiked sharply in 2002 - is down 1.5%. Serious assaults have dipped 9.6%, and burglaries are down 7.6%.

There are fewer vehicles getting swiped, with grand larceny auto going down 12.4%.

Police officials said the overall number this year of major felonies - 132,584 from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30 - is on pace to be even lower than 1968, when the NYPD began compiling reliable statistics, police officials said.

"The cops are on a mission to protect the city as a result of 9/11, from both conventional crime and terrorism," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said last night.

Kelly and his supporters point to an NYPD initiative called Operation Impact as the driving force behind the safer streets. The program redeployed more than 800 cops - many of them new recruits - into 21 high-crime zones.

Crime in every category has dropped an average of 40% in those areas since Operation Impact began in February. Violent crimes, drug-related homicides, rapes, auto theft and assaults all have seen declines as uniformed cops flood the zones.

"When you look at the fact that we have 4,000 fewer officers than we had three years ago," Kelly said, "it's truly remarkable work, and credit has to go around to the whole uniformed force."

December 11th, 2003, 06:31 AM
December 11, 2003

New York's Amazing Police Story

The number of homicides in the United States fell by about 34 percent over the last decade, according to the most recent statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But the drop in New York has been nearly twice that, and now the number of homicides in the city is hovering at a 40-year low. Over all, serious crime in New York is continuing to drop despite the enormous new burden placed on the Police Department by the fight against terrorism and by skyrocketing unemployment, which many expected to translate into more robberies, burglaries and drug trafficking.

Some of the credit for the surprisingly good news must go to the crime-fighting advances that occurred during the administration of Rudolph Giuliani. The Compstat system, which requires borough and precinct commanders to explain crime rates and provide detailed strategies for reducing them, proved such a success that it has been copied around the nation.

But some other cities that use Compstat have not been able to continue pushing down crime, while New York City has, under some of the most daunting circumstances imaginable. Experts admit to being puzzled, but some of the credit must clearly go to the city's current police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, who laid the groundwork for safer streets in an earlier stint in that post, under Mayor David Dinkins in the early 1990's. It was under Mayor Dinkins that the state and city began funneling huge new amounts of resources to a Police Department that had never really recovered from the lean years after the budget crisis of the 1970's.

Mr. Kelly argues convincingly that a great part of the secret is the determination of Michael Bloomberg's administration to continue giving the department the money it needs despite budget problems. His department has also been smart in moving the Police Department even further in a data-driven strategy that focuses resources on new criminal outbreaks before they become epidemics.

Mr. Bloomberg has taken enormous political heat for his conviction that tax increases were preferable to making drastic cuts in critical city services. The unexpectedly happy news on crime rates suggests that the mayor was right.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 16th, 2003, 03:48 AM
December 16, 2003

New York, for Second Year, Is Nation's Safest Big City


For the second year running, New York is "the undisputed safest large city in the nation," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said happily yesterday at a news conference where he and his police commissioner released federal figures showing that the city has continued to push crime down more aggressively than most major cities.

New York has the lowest overall crime rate among cities with more than one million people, according to their presentation of the preliminary Uniform Crime Report compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the first half of the year.

Crime dropped 7.4 percent in New York City, the statistics show, compared with 3.1 percent in the nation as a whole, and 4.4 percent in cities with a population greater than a million. The murder rate was up slightly in New York, as it was nationwide, but the city's rate was still far below its peak in 1990.

The city's crime index, a figure adjusted for population, is on par with much smaller cities, like Ann Arbor, Mich., and ranks 194th out of 200 cities with more than 100,000 residents, making it one of the safest.

The mayor asserted that the recent resurgence in the economy and tourism was a result of the falling crime rates. "Our outstanding success in fighting crime over the last two years is the biggest reason why the Big Apple is coming back," Mr. Bloomberg said.

He listed Police Department programs that responded to petty crimes and noise, as well as antigun initiatives and several programs that use courts and city agencies to focus on certain crimes and repeat offenders.

The police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, stressed that the department had reined in offenses with 4,000 fewer officers than it had three years ago, and with 1,000 of the current 36,000 officers assigned to counterterrorism. He cited programs like Operation Impact, which floods small problem areas with patrol and anticrime officers. "Index crimes in Operation Impact zones are down 33 percent," he said, referring to the index of major crimes that includes murder, rape and grand larceny.

But Mr. Kelly added, "That reduction has not come without a price." He and the mayor spoke of Rodney J. Andrews and James Nemorin, two detectives shot to death during an undercover drug operation in March, and five other officers shot in the line of duty this year.

For the mayor, the continuing decline in crime will almost certainly be a major part of his platform as he runs for re-election. In public appearances at churches and neighborhood groups, he rarely fails to mention the statistics in his speeches.

George Arzt, a Democratic political consultant and former press secretary to Mayor Edward I. Koch, said that even though the numbers have been going down since about 1990, the crime rate was still important to voters.

"People do care, especially people with memories of city streets in the 70's and 80's," Mr. Artz said. "And I think that we all feel a great deal of comfort in this uncertain world when we see crime rates going down."

Most of the decrease in New York came from a drop in property crimes — violent crime dropped only 3.3 percent. From January through the end of last week, murders were up slightly, 2.3 percent, compared with the same period last year. That corresponded to a national trend in the first half of the year: murder, alone among violent crimes, was up 1.1 percent, according to the F.B.I. report.

Still, city officials expect the number of murders to be under 600 for the second year in a row. At one time, members of the department say, just getting the number below 1,000 had the same psychological significance, and air of impossibility, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average's breaking 10,000 did before the Internet boom.

As if to pre-empt any questions that might arise about the murder rate, the news conference was held in the station house of the 44th Precinct in the Bronx, a borough where, the mayor said, murders had decreased 20 percent this year.

Other violent-crime categories stayed virtually flat as well. The number of rapes in New York for the first six months of this year, 758, was only 4 fewer than in the same period last year. Through last week, incidents of rape were down 1.4 percent. Nationwide, violent crimes decreased at a greater rate than property crimes did.

Gov. George E. Pataki also released statewide figures yesterday showing that in New York State crime had gone down 5.5 percent.

Nationally, according to the F.B.I. numbers, one more category of crime proved resistant to the overall downward trend — car thefts went up a smidgen, 0.9 percent. In New York City, however, car thefts were down 12.5 percent through last week.

Criminologists view murder and auto theft rates as bellwether statistics, because they are generally the most accurate. There is little discretion in how to classify them, and people are more likely to report an auto theft than other property crimes.


Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

December 16th, 2003, 09:02 AM
[Insert thumbs-up icon]

TLOZ Link5
January 1st, 2004, 07:35 PM
NY Daily News:

Murders still in check

City total near 600 on final day of '03


As the new year approached last night, the number of murders in 2003 remained slightly below 600 - the new standard for safety in the city.

A flurry of homicides - 10 in just three days - pushed the murder count to 595 by late last night.

The 2002 figure was 587, a total not seen since the early 1960s.

"They've had a couple of bad days," Thomas Reppetto, head of the Citizens Crime Commission, said of the NYPD.

But he said the numbers show the murder rate has stabilized well below the record 2,245 homicides in 1990.

"We've been able to get murder down from the 2,000 level ... to a thousand, to 700, to now the 600 level," he said. "That's an accomplishment."

Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly have credited city cops with keeping the city safe - even as the NYPD's ranks have decreased by 4,000 since 1999.

Yesterday, the medical examiner's office officially classified the deaths of Maria Cruz, 20, and her mother, Brenda Cassanova, 41, as homicides.

Cruz and Cassanova both died Tuesday morning from smoke inhalation during a Bronx arson fire that gutted a three-story building on Glover St.

A 2-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy injured in the fire were still in critical condition yesterday, police said.

The latest NYPD crime statistics, released earlier this week, show New York is in no danger of losing its title as the nation's safest big city.

Compared to 2002, the number of rapes was down 3.1%, assaults dipped 9.5%, burglaries fell 1.5% and robberies dropped 4.5%. Grand larceny was the only major crime that increased, inching up 1.5%.

In the past decade, murder has fallen by about 69%, and Reppetto said the NYPD's ability to keep the 2003 homicide tally around 600 indicates that the crime drop has not bottomed out.

He offered high hopes for the future.

"In the 1940s and 1950s, when 8 million people were living in the city like now, it was around 300," he said. "If we did it once with the same-size population, I think that's what we should be aiming for again."

Originally published on January 1, 2004
© Copyright the New York Daily News, 2004

January 2nd, 2004, 04:54 AM
January 2, 2004

Homicides Up Slightly in New York City in '03


New York City ended the year with a few more homicides than in 2002 — but with fewer than 600, a number seen by police and city officials as a benchmark of a less violent era. The last time a year's total dropped below that number was 1963.

The final tally for 2003 was 596 homicides, up from 587 in 2002, according to official statistics released yesterday. But police officials pointed out that those numbers could change as pending investigations were closed.

In the decades since 1963, the murder rate in New York City climbed dramatically and steadily, driven in the end by the crack cocaine epidemic and hitting more than 2,000 in the early 1990's. The 600 figure is therefore viewed as psychologically and symbolically important.

Even after huge drops in the mid- and late 1990's, the overall crime rate has continued to drop under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, who was also commissioner as crime began to slide off its highs in 1992.

The figure seemed in peril early in the week, with seven homicides occurring on Monday and Tuesday. But on Wednesday, New Year's Eve, the only reported homicide was a statistical addition to police numbers from a shooting that took place in 1991, the police said.

There were also remarkably few incidents during the celebration in Times Square on Wednesday night and yesterday morning. The police said that they made no arrests, and that almost all of the 105 summonses issued around Times Square went to people with open containers of alcohol. No summonses were issued for disorderly conduct, the police said.

Officially, the last homicide of 2003 was the death of Jose Rivera, who was shot when he was 16, in 1991, and remained in a coma until he died last July, police officials said. The medical examiner's office classified the death this week as a homicide, which the Police Department did not enter into its records until Wednesday. Two men were arrested soon after the crime, the police said yesterday.

Record-keeping aside, the actual last homicide of the year occurred on Tuesday, when Ricardo Chavis, 21, who lived in the Edenwald housing project in the Bronx, was murdered, the police said. Mr. Chavis was shot after an argument with a man who fled the scene, the police said.

As New York officials announced the city's final number, their counterparts around the nation engaged in the same grim New Year's Day tradition. Chicago, with 599 killings, registered its fewest murders in 36 years — and 49 fewer than in 2002. But that still left the nation's third-largest city with the largest number of killings in 2003.

Los Angeles, which had the most murders in 2002 — 658 — ended up with a total estimated at lower than 500, according to The Associated Press. The Los Angeles police commissioner, William J. Bratton, was New York City's commissioner in the mid-1990's.

Washington registered a small drop in the number of killings — 247 from 262 in 2002 — while Baltimore saw its first increase since 1998, to 271 from 253, according to The Associated Press.

With the slate wiped clean by the dropping of the ball, New York City recorded its first killing of 2004 less than an hour into the new year. Two more quickly followed.

While sitting on the stoop with friends outside his family's house in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Tralane Walker, 25, was shot in the head by a man who neighbors said began firing indiscriminately from across the street. Police officials said that they were looking into questioning a suspect from the neighborhood, but that it was not clear whether the attacker knew his victim.

Mr. Walker, a nurse's aide in an Endicott, N.Y., home for the aged, had arrived in the city on Wednesday afternoon to spend New Year's Eve with his family, said his mother, Geraldine Taylor, 51. As was his tradition, Mr. Walker joined other relatives at an evening service in the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights.

After returning to the family's home on East 96th Street just before 1 a.m., Mr. Walker walked across the street to exchange New Year's greetings with a friend, witnesses said. Several minutes later, a man who showed up in the block to settle what Mr. Walkers' relatives' called a feud with another man started firing a gun.

"Tralane never knew what hit him," Ms. Taylor said, "He died with his hands still in his pockets."

The family had been planning a birthday party on Sunday for Mr. Walker's daughter, Kiarra, who will turn 4. "Now we have to also arrange a funeral instead," Ms. Taylor said.

Several hours later, the police discovered the body of Elliott Velasquez, 20, in his apartment on Ryer Avenue in the Bronx. He had been shot to death, the police said. They added that they had no suspects in the case but that the shooting seemed to have been the result of an argument over a girlfriend.

At 8 a.m., the body of George Rigos, 70, who had been fatally stabbed, was found by his son in his Queens Village apartment. Police officials said that there were no suspects as yet in the case.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg seemed relieved that the city had fewer than 600 killings last year. But he was also quick to lament the incidents that occurred just after midnight. "New Year's Eve is unfortunately one of those evenings where, for some reason or another, some people get a little bit crazy," he said. "Two is two too many, but it's a lot less than it used to be on New Year's Eve."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 3rd, 2004, 10:07 AM
January 3, 2004

Thieves Use Pens, Not Guns, as Bank Robbery Soars in City


Bank robberies in New York City soared by 64 percent last year over 2002, driven by an increase in unarmed robberies, the police said yesterday.

There were 408 bank robberies in 2003, an average of more than one a day, the police said. The vast majority of those — 342 — were carried out without the use of a weapon, the police said.

The police gave few details on the reasons for the increase. Michael O'Looney, the Police Department spokesman, said the banking industry had not taken enough steps to combat the robberies, including installing closed-circuit television systems and bullet-resistant barriers to protect bank employees. Unarmed bank robberies are often carried out by robbers passing demands for cash to tellers on pieces of paper.

Typical of the pattern, on Dec. 16, a man passed a note demanding cash to a teller at a branch of the Valley National Bank in Midtown Manhattan. The man fled without getting any money.

"Over all, the banking industry has not done enough to address the problem," Mr. O'Looney said. "We plan to put an even greater focus on which banks are cooperating with our best practices and those that are not. We expect better results in 2004."

The increase in bank robberies this year contrasts with the city's dropping crime rate. Robberies of all types were down last year by 4.5 percent compared with 2002 and by 69 percent compared with 1993. The murder rate, now hovering below 600 per year, is less than half the rate in the early 1990's.

National figures, available only for 2002, showed that the rate of serious crime remained unchanged in that year from 2001, according to a report issued by the F.B.I. in October. The national robbery rate for that year dropped by 1.8 percent from 2001.

An analysis of bank robberies in 2001 showed a national increase of 18 percent from 2000, the report found.

In New York City, the police have stepped up efforts to combat the problem. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has sponsored a City Council bill to require banks to set up barriers of bullet-proof glass to protect tellers. Some banks have resisted, saying they do little to thwart robbers.

Nationwide, the average amount of money taken in a bank robbery is less than $5,000, according to the F.B.I. report.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Small-Time Crooks (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?p=16557)

TLOZ Link5
January 3rd, 2004, 09:18 PM
Small setback in murders notwithstanding, here's to hoping that in ten years overall crime will drop another seventy percent.

January 5th, 2004, 01:34 PM


January 4, 2004 -- While investigating the stabbing murder of a cigarette vendor in downtown Brooklyn six weeks ago, cops hit a sudden roadblock: Their computer crashed.

Detectives at the 84th Precinct wanted to track down a suspect, but when they went to look up his information on their computer, the system went dead - for three days.

"We couldn't do one thing the whole weekend," said a cop familiar with the case. We're still looking for the guy."

The machine - made by CSS, a discount computer firm in Cranford, N.J. - is about a decade old, cops said.

"It's been in and out of the shop 12 times," said one cop of the unit, which can be used to call up rap sheets and other information about suspects.

"It's so slow that after I log in, I go make a pot of coffee because it takes that long. There's a bunch of them piled up in the basement with a sign, 'Stock to be destroyed.' "

It is just one example of how outdated computers are hurting the NYPD's crime-fighting efforts.

Among the problems:

* There are generally no more than a handful of computers at each precinct, which range in size from about 100 to more than 400 cops.

* Most cops don't have the passwords to log in to the department's systems - so they rely on a select few officers to log in.

* Few cops receive any training on using the department's computers or searching archives on them.

* Criminal records and other data are still kept in four separate databases - all of which cops must search whenever they're investigating a suspect, though doing so can take up to four hours.

* Different precincts have different types of computers and different programs - and there's no overall central system for the department.

* Only top cops have their own computers, and they're the only ones in the stationhouse who are officially allowed to have Internet access.

Cops told The Post of a patchwork system that barely functions and lacks many basic advances used by average New Yorkers.

They say officers battle over computer access because there just aren't enough machines to go around.

When they do get on, calling up the information they need can be a long, slow headache.

"A lot of the times you can't even sign in because there's only one server for the entire precinct," said one detective.

Obtaining even the most basic police record - the rap sheet - is no easy task.

A suspect's fingerprints must be faxed to Albany to be researched by the state.

The department could do better if it had more programmers to crunch data and troubleshoot, insiders said.

The bulk of the work is done by hobbyists - regular cops who happen to be computer-savvy. But the programs they develop are often limited to the needs of their individual precinct.

Ironically, computers and other technologies are first-rate at the top of the NYPD. The Compstat system for analyzing crime data has been hailed widely as a key to historic reductions in crime.

Copyright 2003 NYP Holdings, Inc.

January 13th, 2004, 01:16 AM
January 13, 2004

Police Widen Plan to Flood Crime Areas


The Police Department is expanding a year-old anticrime initiative that narrowly focuses officers on neighborhoods, subway stations and housing projects with nagging crime problems, the mayor and the police commissioner announced yesterday.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly have often credited the initiative, Operation Impact, with helping to reduce violent crime around the city, and yesterday they said it decreased crime 33 percent last year in the areas where it operated.

The expanded initiative will funnel more than 1,000 rookie police officers and about 700 officers who worked on it last year into 52 new impact zones, officials said. The areas include 26 subway stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan, parts of 22 precincts around the city and 9 housing developments in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The planned expansion was first reported in The New York Post on Sunday.

Some of the zones are as small as a subway station or, in one case, a stretch of Church Avenue in East Flatbush that is several blocks long. Others encompass sprawling housing developments or swaths of precincts, like the 47th in the Eastchester section of the Bronx. They include crime-prone areas, like East New York in Brooklyn, which has two zones, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where a zone stretches from East 83rd Street to East 89th Street, from Lexington to Second Avenues, officials said.

Mayor Bloomberg, who along with Mr. Kelly announced the expansion at a news conference at the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood, Queens, one of four precincts to have new impact zones added this year, said the department would funnel new officers to the zones twice a year, as they graduated from the Police Academy.

"We keep changing our strategy as the needs in this city change," Mr. Bloomberg said. He added that the Police Department did sophisticated analysis to identify and select the zones and then flooded them with the new officers along with veterans and supervisors from gang and narcotics units.

"Going where the bad guys are is the right thing to do,'' Mr. Bloomberg said. "Just spreading your resources throughout the entire city wastes them and doesn't give you enough to focus on addressing the real problems."

Commissioner Kelly said that the department carefully monitored activity in the areas around the zones on a daily basis. "The secret is to be agile, to be flexible," he said. Asked whether the intense focus on the zones pushed crime to other areas, Mr. Kelly said, "It's something that we constantly have to be concerned about," adding, "We look at displacement all the time."

Last year, the Police Department coordinated the initiative with the city's five district attorneys and it resulted in more than 32,000 arrests and nearly 376,000 summonses in the impact areas, officials said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

January 20th, 2004, 12:42 AM
January 20, 2004


Fighting Crime and Gaining Favor


After his second inauguration, in early 1998, with crime falling and New York on its way to becoming the safest large city in America, Rudolph W. Giuliani rose to heights of popularity he would not see again until the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, the man in charge of the city's vaunted Police Department, Commissioner Howard Safir, was slipping badly in opinion polls.

A little more than two years later, after notorious incidents of police brutality and the mistaken police shootings of two innocent black men, Amadou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond, Mr. Safir's tenure was over. Just before his resignation in August 2000, a poll found just 11 percent of black voters — and less than a third of all New Yorkers polled — had a favorable opinion of the police commissioner.

What a difference a new administration makes. Last year polls consistently found Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly to be the city's most popular public official by far, with approval ratings near 70 percent. It is Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg who has settled into a trough of unpopularity, with ratings below 40 percent.

What explains this change in attitude? Enthusiasm for Mr. Kelly has roots in the public support for uniformed services that followed 9/11, but there's more to it. There has been a significant shift in policing strategy under the Bloomberg administration — even as crime rates have continued to decline. It is this shift, along with Mr. Kelly's political skills, that have improved perceptions of police headquarters, especially in black and Latino communities.

Several hundred officers are now engaged in antiterrorism efforts, and tight budgets have driven the number of officers down to below 37,000 from a peak of more than 40,000 in 2001. But equally notable is a steady transition away from some of the hardball tactics of the Giuliani era that inflamed neighborhoods in northern Manhattan, central Brooklyn and the Bronx.

A few years ago, critics asserted that New York's street-level enforcement efforts, particularly the special plainclothes units independent of the precinct commands, harassed innocent citizens. Defenders of the tactics said the stop-and-frisk routines in high-crime neighborhoods were necessary to control guns and drugs.

Yet some smaller cities, including Boston, San Jose and San Diego, managed to drive crime rates down substantially without generating the depth of anger and distrust seen in New York City. Police commanders worked with religious leaders and community organizations to identify crime spots and develop support in those cities' substantial minority populations. Boston, like New York, developed a comprehensive computer-based crime tracking and precinct accountability system, but also integrated nonstatistical information drawn from local organizations to help commanders better understand the sources of crime.

Mr. Kelly's department is somewhere between these two models. While full-fledged community policing is a relic in New York, there is a recognition that tough policing does not necessarily depend on the harsh stop-and-frisk tactics typical of the 400-strong plainclothes Street Crime Unit that Mr. Safir vastly expanded in the late 1990's.

The current administration put most of that unit's detectives back into local precincts. Smaller firearms units, with far fewer officers and detectives, now go after illegal gun dealers. Today, most street-level enforcement is now the responsibility of local precincts and of Operation Impact, a program that suppresses street crime by flooding troubled neighborhoods with uniformed rookie officers and setting up visible, accessible command-post trailers. The program also includes meetings with residents and merchants, and a clear explanation of strategy and tactics.

Furthermore, after a 66 percent increase in misdemeanor arrests from 1993 to 1998, the level of arrests and pretrial detentions for such minor crimes as turnstile hopping and public drinking has declined. While misdemeanor arrests remain high compared to the early 1990's, they dropped by more than 20 percent in Manhattan between 1998 and 2003, with the largest decline coming during Mr. Kelly's first year in office.

Mr. Kelly has also been more responsive when the police make mistakes. A 57-year-old woman, Alberta Spruill, died last May of a heart attack after police officers used a concussion grenade during a "no knock" raid on her Harlem apartment. Mr. Kelly quickly went into the community and apologized for his officers' reliance on inaccurate information from an informant. He transferred or reassigned several officers responsible for the policy and the assault. The department temporarily ended the use of stun grenades and drastically reduced the number of no-knock searches.

Of course, the Police Department remains a paramilitary organization. It is not always adept at responding to criticism. And Mr. Kelly has failed to reach beyond religious institutions and the official precinct community councils to include other types of groups — neighborhood associations, tenant groups, youth service organizations — in meaningful discussions.

Boston's departing commissioner, Paul Evans, was a pioneer in this approach. Such work may seem an inefficient sideline in a city burdened with huge antiterrorism responsibilities, but if Mr. Kelly hopes to retain his newly won reputation, he would do well to follow through on recent efforts by becoming more inclusive in his outreach.

Even so, crime control remains dependable in New York and policing today in Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant and other neighborhoods is no longer generating the harsh reaction so common in the recent past. The credit may not yet have accrued to City Hall, but it has, at least for now, reached the headquarters of an extraordinarily popular police commissioner.

Andrew White is director of the Center for New York City Affairs at New School University.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 29th, 2004, 01:23 PM
I hope we are not going through another trend like we did in the early 80’s.
The Warriors III maybe?

The gangs of New York are on a killing spree.
Gang slayings shot up nearly 80% across the city last year, a startling statistic given the Police Department's success in pushing overall murders to historic lows.

New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Bloody gangs of New York


Sunday, February 29th, 2004

The gangs of New York are on a killing spree.

Gang slayings shot up nearly 80% across the city last year, a startling statistic given the Police Department's success in pushing overall murders to historic lows.

Gang-motivated homicides jumped to 52 in 2003 from 29 the year before, according to police records.

When all slayings committed by gang members - including those unrelated to gang activities - are considered, the violent reach of gangs is inescapable: Nearly one of every six people killed in the city last year was slain by a gang member.

"For every 10 arrests, there are 20 new gang members coming in," said a former "general" in the Latin Kings. "The cops can't stop gangs. There are too many of them."

Police downplayed the statistics, noting overall gang-motivated crime was cut by 18%.

"It's an aberration in an area that is notoriously hard to gauge," said Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.

"The [gang-motivated] homicides were isolated, not part of a pattern," said Inspector William Tartaglia, head of the NYPD Gang Division, "and there was nothing we didn't deal with right away."

Tartaglia pointed to the first weeks of this year as evidence. Through Feb. 8, gang-motivated killings fell by 50% compared with the same period last year.

Yet the deadly danger posed by gangs has a profound effect on average New Yorkers.

Teens are pressured to join various gangs. Mexican immigrants are afraid to reveal their hometowns to gang members for fear of getting slashed.

Places where parents once walked with their children without fear are now off-limits at night.

When the sun is shining, Eric Covington brings his baby daughter to St. James Park and plays outside near his Bronx home with his 7-year-old son.

"As soon as the street lights come on, it's time go upstairs," said Covington, 27. "You got these kids on the streets trying to make names for themselves."

"Bloods, Latin Kings, Ñetas," he said. "The police have been cracking down a lot. But you still have these 13- to 17-year-old kids - sickos - who believe violence gets you status."

The ranks of the city's gangs stand at just under 15,000, with about a quarter active and not in prison, authorities said.

Among the most active are the Bloods, the Crips, the Latin Kings, the Ñetas, The Mexican Boys, Los Vagos (The Lazy Ones), Los Traviesos (The Troublemakers), Los Pitufos (The Smurfs) and a gang of Salvadoran nationals called Mara Salvatrucha or MS 13.

A major challenge in combating gang violence is that it tends to be random because the thugs lack organization.

Gangs tend to menace other criminals, but their illegal activities also can breed violence beyond their ranks.

Last June, a Bronx teen who tried to stop his cousin from being initiated into a gang was shot dead by the thugs outside a cafe at 149th St. and Morris Ave.

The NYPD battles gangs on all fronts.

Even as homicides jumped, the NYPD achieved double-digit declines in almost every major gang-crime category last year and got 302 guns off the streets.

The largest increase in murder was in Queens, where Mexican gangs prey on other immigrants and are known to barge into baptisms, weddings and family gatherings.

To respond to the violence quickly, the Gang Division holds weekly strategy meetings with housing, transit, school and correction cops, and shares intelligence with district attorneys.

The Queens district attorney's office, which has its own gang unit, organizes an annual conference and regularly puts witnesses into hiding.

Bronx prosecutors also have created a Gang/Major Case Bureau. In April, the unit busted nine alleged Bloods for selling up to $80,000 in crack a month from the Patterson Houses.

On the streets, the Gang Division's 280 officers and the NYPD's Operation Impact, which floods rookie cops into areas with persistent crime, have proven successful.

Less than a year ago, Mexican gangs effectively ruled Linden Park in Corona, Queens. Not any more.

"It's like a police academy now," Jose Hernandez, 22, said as he took a breather from a game of hoops.

At Crystal Liquors near the park, the owner, Ruben Peña, said he would almost consider removing the shop's bullet-proof glass.

"The cops have really helped," said Peña, who credits Councilman Hiram Monserrate (D-Corona) for getting the added police presence. "The problem is they put the police here for a while, but then they remove them and things could get bad again."

March 24th, 2004, 02:43 AM
March 24, 2004

Union Leaders Allege Fudging of Statistics on City Crime


The presidents of the main police union and the sergeants union said yesterday that political pressure to keep the crime rate down was leading some precinct commanders to fudge their numbers. They contend that there were more rapes, robberies and other felonies in the city than have been made public.

They offered little evidence to support their claim, which was made as the city and the union have been battling over wages and the failure to reach a new contract for the force.

The assertion drew a stinging rebuke from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who, at his own news conference later in the day, suggested that in making such charges, the police union leadership was implicitly insulting its own members.

"You can't have it both ways," he said, beginning his attack before a reporter could quite finish his question. "You can't have a billboard in Times Square claiming you're doing such a great job and therefore need a raise, and then the same guy goes out on the steps of wherever he gave his press conference and claim that the success of the N.Y.P.D. is inflated."

The mayor continued, "I'm a bigger advocate, a fan, of the members of the P.B.A. than apparently the union leadership is."

But the union leader he was referring to, Patrick J. Lynch, the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, was adamant that the police force had done "an outstanding job." He said the problem was that the force, now numbering nearly 37,000, had shrunk by about 4,000 officers since 2000.

Mr. Lynch defended the record declines in reported crime over the last decade, but could not say when he believed the department's statistics had first become suspect. He and the head of the sergeants union, Ed Mullins, stopped short of accusing senior police officials of condoning fraud.

"We've reached a point where some local N.Y.P.D. commanders are forced to falsify stats in order to maintain the appearance of a continued reduction in crime," Mr. Lynch said.

Mr. Lynch said union members from across the department had complained that superiors downgraded crimes from felonies to misdemeanors or refused to count them, but he offered no evidence that such practices were widespread, and the Police Department strongly denied the claim.

About a half-dozen precinct commanders have been accused of cooking their books since 1994, when the department introduced new accountability measures.

Paul J. Browne, the department's chief spokesman, said each precinct's crime reports were audited twice a year, and the rate of error had fallen to 1.8 percent in 2003 from 4.4 percent in 2000.

The union news conference followed a report in Newsday suggesting that a commander of the 50th Precinct in the Bronx had underreported crime, based largely on the fact that the count of some felony crimes had ballooned since the previous commander left.

Mr. Browne pointed out that under the previous commander, grand larceny, one of the easiest crimes to misreport, had increased while murder and auto theft, two of the most difficult to fudge, had gone down.

The dispute over crime statistics comes amid increasing tensions between the P.B.A. and the Bloomberg administration.

The tensions were crystallized by the union's demand in February that Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly resign for saying that that there appeared to be "no justification" for the police shooting of an unarmed teenager the month before.

The mayor has also angered the police unions by suggesting that their raises will be less than those granted to city teachers.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

March 26th, 2004, 01:27 AM
March 26, 2004

Kelly Reports a Sharp Decrease in Bank Robberies in the City


After a sharp increase in the number of bank robberies in New York City in the first half of last year, the number began to decrease because of improved security measures in the banks, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told a gathering of state bankers yesterday.

"While the problem has abated significantly, it is still too early to declare victory. But we are very encouraged by the results so far," Mr. Kelly said, calling for further use of "bandit barriers," dye packs, security guards and conspicuous video cameras as deterrents.

From Jan. 2 to Tuesday, there were 87 bank robberies in the city, down 31 percent from 126 on the same date last year. In the past year, the police commissioner has repeatedly criticized the banks for failing to take measures to prevent robberies.

"Based on debriefings of bank robbery suspects, we learned that it had become a commonly held belief inside Rikers Island and on the street that banks had become easier to rob," Mr. Kelly told an audience of about 250 people at the New York Bankers Association's Annual Financial Services Forum at the Waldorf-Astoria. "Everyone from career criminals to vagrants were trying it."

During last year's cases, most of the robbers - 73 of the 87 - were unarmed.

Bandit barriers are glass partitions between tellers and customers. They allow a teller to simply walk away from a potential robber, Mr. Kelly said.

"Where barriers are in place, we have found the banks' use of a walk-away policy to be extremely effective," Mr. Kelly said.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Small-Time Crooks (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1437)

April 5th, 2004, 12:32 AM
Questioning Police Statistics For Crime and Cases Of Misconduct (http://gothamgazette.com/article/crime/20040405/4/940)

April 6th, 2004, 11:52 AM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Subways are safer due to 9/11 tactics


Tuesday, April 6th, 2004

Police are on track to beat last year's historic low tally of subway crimes - and cops are crediting part of the ongoing decline to anti-terror efforts.

Robberies are down more than 12% so far this year, police statistics reveal. "It's quite remarkable," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Crime in all major categories combined is down about 2% from last year, which was the lowest in more than three decades. From January through Sunday night, there were 775 felonies, compared with 789 during the same period last year.

There were 265 robberies, compared with 302 last year.

Officials give some credit to tried and true strategies, such as focusing on fare-beaters who might be more prone to commit more serious offenses, Kelly said.

But anti-terrorism tactics - which include flooding stations with police in surprise surges, and placing more uniformed officers in stations - are likely deterring pickpockets, muggers and other criminals, he said.

"The officers are really on a mission in the post 9/11 world," Kelly said. "They are focused on keeping the environment as safe as it can be."

The only increase has come in grand larcenies - usually pickpockets and purse snatchings - which are up about 6%.

In all, there are about 8.2 felonies a day for a system that carries millions of daily riders.

"The NYPD, working with our people, have done a miraculous job," Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Peter Kalikow said. "Every month we think the crime statistics can't get any lower, and they keep getting lower."

April 7th, 2004, 11:00 PM
April 8, 2004

The Shots Not Heard Around the Bronx


Ten years ago, at least 30 shots were fired during a single week in the Bronx, killing 12 people. On a single day in that week, 40 minutes apart, two men were shot and killed within a few miles of each other.

During the same week this year, March 29 to Sunday, not a shot was reported in the Bronx, the police said. The quiet continued until Tuesday.

Citing that startling statistic, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that it was the first time a week had gone by without a single shooting in the borough since 1994, when the Police Department first began using a computerized system to measure crime by precinct.

"If I'd told you 10 years ago or even five years ago that I could stand here and read these numbers," Mr. Bloomberg said to reporters, "you would have all had smirks on your faces and you'd never write it."

But just hours after the mayor's news conference, three people were shot and slightly injured in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx, offering a reminder that further reducing violent crime will remain a tough challenge for this administration.

Over the last few years, crime in the Bronx has fallen with the rest of the city's statistical rates on murder, robbery and shootings. Murder is down by roughly 11 percent this year citywide and in the Bronx, and has fallen in all parts of the city except for northern Brooklyn, where it has climbed by 22.5 percent. Crime continues to fall in most categories throughout the city, as it has for several years now, distinguishing New York from other large cities.

For decades, the Bronx has been so synonymous with crime and misery that movies have been dedicated to its neighborhoods. So it is a small but fascinating moment for a city that has spent the last decade clawing and policing its way to among the safest in the nation.

Otis Vincent, 37, who lives in Harlem and works in construction in the Crotona Park section of the Bronx, remembers when he avoided the parks and other public spaces. "If I had my kids with me, I would be afraid for my kids," Mr. Vincent said. "I noticed that a lot of kids were getting hit by stray bullets. I never used to take them to the park because it was dangerous. Now, they rebuilt the park."

The borough president, Adolfo Carrión Jr., said the week without gunfire was indicative of the general direction in which the Bronx was moving. "We have had a tremendous level of development in the borough, and income levels are rising,'' he said. "Young families are moving to the Bronx and people are much more involved in their neighborhoods."

The decrease in crime in the Bronx can be attributed to many factors, experts said, ranging from redevelopment of its most blighted areas, private investment in housing, demographic shifts and improving police tactics. In the South Bronx, for instance, a large increase in privately financed development has led to a tripling of the prices of vacant lots that were once representative of a burned-out, depressed region since 1999.

"When people come here," Mr. Carrión said, "they are shocked at how neighborhoods that 15 years ago were devastated are completely transformed with families and kids and parks and houses."

Over the last month in the Bronx, there have been four murders, compared to 13 during the same period in 2003; a nine-day hiatus from gun violence ended when two men were shot and injured on Tuesday, leaving one of them in critical condition.

The city's police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, said techniques like Operation Impact, a tactic that pours officers into areas where crime persists, have contributed to the decrease in crime. "I think it is an example of good police work," Commissioner Kelly said in a telephone interview. "I like to also think it shows the success of Operation Impact. Shootings are down 50 percent over last year in our impact zones."

Mr. Kelly also said that reinvestment along the Grand Concourse and other areas of the borough have helped. "Good things are happening in the Bronx for a variety of reasons," he said. "One of them is the Police Department's focus."

These days, Rosario Sanchez, who has worked as a carpenter in the South Bronx for 10 years, feels comfortable taking his lunch break in a small park at the corner of Westchester and Hoe Avenues. He said he would never have lounged in the park before.

"Around this park there were drugs and prostitutes," said Mr. Sanchez, 52. "Now, nothing like that. The police are working with that."

Still, many borough residents are leery, given the history surrounding their homes.

"Wait until it gets a little warmer; wait until summertime," said Norfleet Beale, 74, of Bronx River, who was also in the park. He said it was hard to assess crime in the borough "because nobody wants to come out.''

"I don't want to give your mayor too much credit,'' Mr. Beale said. "Wait until summer, then come back again."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
April 7th, 2004, 11:15 PM
Hurrah for Kelly.

April 8th, 2004, 10:56 AM
New York Newsday
April 8, 2004

Shots spoil mayor's moment

By Nick Sambides Jr.

Maybe he spoke too soon: Less than 12 hours after Mayor Michael Bloomberg touted the Bronx's nine days without shootings, gunshots rang out in the borough and three men were wounded Wednesday night.

The men, whose names police did not release, were standing at the corner of West Kingsbridge Road and Webb Avenue shortly after 7 p.m. when they were approached by two men, one with a dog. An argument and shoving match ensued, witnesses said, and one of the two approaching men pulled a gun and started firing.

One of the victims was shot in the neck; the other two were shot in the leg, police said. The three men were taken to St. Barnabus Hospital where they are in stable condition. None of the injuries is considered life-threatening. Police said they found a silver handgun they believe was used in the crime and have a description of the suspects.

Earlier in the day, Bloomberg touted the job police have been doing in the Bronx, which by reputation is one of the city's roughest boroughs.

"We went nine days without one shooting in the Bronx," Bloomberg said during a daily press conference. "Ten years ago in the same week there were 30 [shootings]. Last year, there were five. This year, zero.

"It is an amazing number," Bloomberg added. He encouraged residents to thank police for their efforts, particularly in the Bronx.

Wednesday night would have made 10 days without a shooting. The record runs back to 1994, when police began keeping such statistics.

There has not been a murder in the Bronx since March 12.

Information from the WB11 was included in this report.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

May 17th, 2004, 07:04 AM
Why Is There A Plunge In Crime? (http://gothamgazette.com/article/demographics/20040517/5/982)

May 24th, 2004, 02:21 PM
May 24, 2004

Mayor: NYC still the nation’s ’safest big city’

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Violent crime in New York City took another dip in 2003, joining other large cities in outpacing the country as a whole, officials said Monday.

Serious crimes -- murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault -- fell 5.8 percent compared with 2002. The average decrease for cities with more than 1 million inhabitants was 6.5 percent, compared to 3.2 percent nationwide, according to newly released FBI crime statistics.

At City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the decrease helped push the city down eight spots in per capita rankings of 230 cities with more than a 100,000 population -- to No. 211, just after Port St. Lucie, Fla. The city had the lowest per capita crime rate among the 10 most populous cities in 2003, he said.

The numbers mean the city "retained its title as the safest big city in the country," Bloomberg said.

The city's crime rate fell 4.5 percent last year -- the 10th consecutive year of decline.

The city spends more than $5 billion a year on Police Department-related expenses, including pensions, the mayor said. The force, with about 36,000 officers, is the nation's largest.

"If you want to be safe, it costs a lot of money," he said.

Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

May 25th, 2004, 12:41 AM

New York Surpasses Eight More Cities in National FBI Report

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly today announced that the FBI's annual Uniform Crime Reports for 2003 ranks New York City even lower in overall crime than it ranked in 2002. According to FBI statistics, the City experienced a 5.8% drop in overall crime – nearly 12 times greater than the national average drop of 0.5%. Moreover, New York City ranked 211th out of 230 cities across the nation on the total crime index; in 2002, the city ranked 203rd. New York City represents 25.7% of the national decrease in crime for calendar year 2003; since 2001, New York City represents 49.6% of the national decrease in crime.

“New York City has not only retained its title as the safest big city in the country, it has defied the odds and become even safer,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “The men and women of the Police Department, have done an incredible job implementing successful anti-crime initiatives and are doing it with fewer officers as well as the increased responsibilities of counter-terrorism. From Operation Clean Sweep, the quality-of-life enforcement program which we announced in the first days of our administration, to Operation Spotlight, where we have focused the resources of the courts to make sure persistent misdemeanants serve meaningful sentences, we have kept driving crime down and making the streets safer for the people of this great City.”

“Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the men and women of this Department, we have made New York City the safest it's been in decades,” Commissioner Kelly said. “I want to commend them for their commitment to keep crime down to record levels. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the New York City Police Department that our City enjoys its status as the safest big city in the country.”

The FBI's total crime index ranks cities of 100,000 people or more by the number of crimes per 100,000 people. For 2003, the total crime index in New York City was 2921.8 crimes per 100,000 people. Out of the 230 cities which are ranked, New York City now ranks 211th, between Port St. Lucie, Florida, and Fremont, California – a drop of eight from last year. Out of the nations 10 largest cities, New York City ranked 10th with the fewest overall crimes on the total crime index, and had the steepest drop of any of the 10 largest cities. Out of the nation’s 25 largest cities, New York ranked 24th, just behind San Jose, California.

Year End 2003/City/Rate

1 Dallas 9244.2
2 Detroit 8683.4
3 Phoenix 7654.8
4 San Antonio 7548.7
5 Houston 7056.5
6 Las Vegas 5783.3
7 Philadelphia 5450.2
8 Los Angeles 4819.2
9 San Diego 4237.6
10 New York 2921.8


May 25th, 2004, 06:09 AM
May 25, 2004

Crime Declines, but Union and Mayor Spar Over Data


The decline of overall serious crime in New York City, along with several other large cities, outpaced the crime rate in the nation as a whole in 2003, according to a Police Department analysis of F.B.I. statistics, prompting Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday to renew his boast that New York is the safest large city in the country.

Mr. Bloomberg, flanked by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, said the city's crime decline, as recorded by the F.B.I., put New York close to the bottom of the list of cities across the country with more than 100,000 inhabitants - 211th of 230, dropping eight positions below its position in 2002. Among the cities with a population of more than one million, the city ranks 24th out of 25.

"That means there's only 19 cities in the entire country of 100,000 population or more than have fewer crimes per capita," he said. "We are now between Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Fremont, Calif., two great metropolises who also enjoy low crime, and we wish them all the best."

The F.B.I. data, released on Sunday, is based on uniform crime reports provided by police departments around the country. The New York City Police Department compared the F.B.I. figures for New York with other cities' to produce the ranking, a police official said.

Overall felony crime - murder, rape, robbery, assault, grand larceny, auto theft and burglary - dropped 5.8 percent, nearly a dozen times the national average drop of 0.5 percent for all cities, Mr. Bloomberg said, despite a smaller force and the department's new counterterrorism responsibilities.

The reported crime declines in New York City represent 25.7 percent of the national decrease for 2003, and since 2001, the city's crime decline has accounted for 49.6 percent of the national decrease, Mr. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Kelly credited the work of rank-and-file officers and Operation Impact, a department program that floods small problem areas with Police Academy recruits accompanied by more experienced officers.

The police union, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, has charged that precinct commanders feel such intense pressure to drive down crime that they "cook the books," reducing the severity of crimes on paper to avoid recording them among the seven crimes reported to the F.B.I.

A union spokesman, Albert O'Leary, said yesterday that the average police precinct had declined by 70 officers in recent years, increasing the pressure on commanders. The department's overall head count has declined by more than 4,000 officers since its peak in October 2000.

Mr. Bloomberg bristled at a reporter's question about the union's accusations.

"Let's get serious, it's an insult to the people in this city," Mr. Bloomberg said, adding, "These are F.B.I. numbers; do you really think someone is going to falsify these numbers?" He added that the department's statistics are audited.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
May 25th, 2004, 02:49 PM
If only the rest of this country were so competant at fighting crime.

May 26th, 2004, 10:07 PM
May 26, 2004

As Police Extend Use of DNA, a Smudge Could Trap a Thief


A criminalist at the New York City forensic lab takes samples from a dusted fingerprint on a piece of wood that is evidence in a murder case.

Cotton-swabs with blood samples on them sit in the New York City forensic lab. The samples are tested for their DNA content which can help determine who was present at a crime scene.

If New Yorkers whose homes are burglarized despair of ever seeing justice — much less their stereos and jewelry — they have good reason. Less than 20 percent of property crimes in the city are ever solved. That is partly because evidence and witnesses are hard to come by, and partly because the bulk of the manpower and money is devoted to catching violent criminals. DNA testing, for example, is routinely done only in homicides, rapes and the most serious assaults.

But in an attempt to reverse that statistic, the chief medical examiner's office plans to open a new lab to test hundreds of DNA samples a day from nearly every crime scene, including burglarized homes and stolen cars. Because many property crimes do not yield blood, semen or saliva, the lab will use DNA samples previously considered too minuscule to collect, like skin cells left in a smudged fingerprint or a ski mask, and match them against databases of convicted felons, suspects and DNA profiles from crime scenes and rape kits.

The prospect delights both the police and prosecutors, offering for the first time a powerful tool to catch criminals so elusive that many New Yorkers do not even bother to report burglaries. And if, as many criminologists believe, perpetrators tend to progress from nonviolent to violent crimes, the tests could contribute significantly to public safety.

"It extends to a whole universe of crimes that other technology can't touch," said Dr. Charles S. Hirsch, the chief medical examiner. "And we know there are crossover criminals, that burglars become rapists. The impact has a big ripple effect."

With the high-sensitivity lab, as it is called, forensic scientists will be able to get a profile from a mere 6 cells' worth of genetic material, instead of the approximately 150 cells needed for conventional DNA testing. That is even smaller than most samples used in Britain, which pioneered the use of this technology in criminal casework in 1999 and typically uses 30 to 50 cells.

There are as yet no national standards for tests on such small samples, called low copy number DNA analysis, and their admissibility in court has not been widely tested. But using DNA to solve property crimes is an idea that is catching on: conventional samples of DNA taken from burglaries in Miami, for example, have yielded a high number of matches in the database, officials said.

While the technology is not new, the new lab's scope is unprecedented in this country; if all goes according to plan, the New York lab will use robots to test 800 DNA samples a day.

"It's a first for North America; it's a first outside of England," said Ray Wickenheiser, the author of an early paper on the use of DNA from what forensic scientists call "handled objects" to solve a murder for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and now director of the Acadiana Crime Lab in Louisiana. "By setting this up in North America, in a much stiffer legal climate, it's very proactive."

But others caution that the method is vulnerable to contamination or mistaken conclusions. "You get spurious results," said Lawrence Kobilinsky, a professor of forensic science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "You have to interpret everything very carefully."

He continued, "Low copy number has been looked at very carefully by the F.B.I., and I think that in general their attitude is, this is not ready for prime time." A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. crime lab in Quantico, Va., declined to comment on the method, other than to say that the agency is considering ways to enhance the sensitivity of current DNA methods.

The city's forensic scientists counter that they have done extensive work to validate their techniques. They have broken into one another's apartments and stolen the boss's car, scraped skin cells from clothing with a razor blade, spent long hours in the lab and presented their research for peer review at conferences, where it earns high marks from experts like Joseph E. Warren, a forensic biologist at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and Mr. Wickenheiser, a senior auditor for one of the two groups in the country that accredit forensic labs.

In part, the scientists' confidence has grown out of the World Trade Center attack. Although the new lab was in the planning stages before Sept. 11, the labor of identifying 8,553 remains from that disaster has honed the staff's ability to handle a high volume of tiny, degraded or contaminated DNA samples. "The World Trade Center drove a lot of this," said Robert Shaler, director of the forensic biology department of the medical examiner's office.

Some of the high-sensitivity lab equipment is already in place, in temporary rented quarters at Bellevue Hospital Center, where scientists say low copy analysis will be under way by the end of the year. Ultimately, the high-sensitivity lab will be housed in a new, $267 million forensic biology building near Bellevue scheduled to be finished in November 2006. At full capacity, it will cost an estimated $4.4 million a year to operate, said Thomas Brondolo, deputy commissioner of the chief medical examiner's office.

In a $185,000 pilot program financed by the National Institute of Justice, the Police Department has already begun to collect samples from a small number of break-ins, albeit only from conventional sources like saliva left on a cigarette butt. The first set of results is expected in a few weeks. In a similar program, the Miami-Dade Police Department has gotten hits on more than 50 percent of its DNA submissions from burglaries, said Willard Stuver, supervisor of the DNA testing program there.

Dr. Shaler said he expects only 10 to 20 percent of the low copy samples in New York to yield usable genetic profiles. "This is not highly efficient testing," he said. "It's all dependent on things like whether the subject washed their hands."

Yet, Dr. Shaler said, even such a small percentage could significantly reduce property crimes because thieves are so often recurrent offenders. And, he said, if DNA evidence induces more suspects to plead guilty, the lab will reduce trial costs.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: "It's the type of thing you find the money for if it works. It would be tremendously cost-effective. It's really tough to make a burglary arrest."

Experts disagree as to the admissibility of low copy analysis as courtroom evidence. Mechthild Prinz, an assistant director in charge of the new lab, said that because the samples will be destroyed in testing, there will be no way to allow defense lawyers to conduct their own tests. Then there is secondary transfer: for example, a thief robs a house after shaking hands with a friend and leaves the friend's DNA signature at the scene.

Those considerations, some experts said, are likely to affect the weight jurors give to the test results more than their admissibility. Lisa Friel, chief of the Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit of the Manhattan district attorney's office, said the tests can be used, among other things, to exclude the innocent, and can also help solve violent crimes, such as a rape where the suspect wears a condom. She said the fact that a sample is used up in testing does not disqualify the results in court.

"If it's a choice between that or people who saw somebody fleeing, I'd rather have DNA evidence," Ms. Friel said.

DNA collected from handled objects has already been used to help solve crimes in New York, she said, giving the example of a suspect identified by DNA taken from the bridge of his glasses, which he had left at the scene. The suspect, John Ramos, pleaded guilty to burglary and attempted rape last week and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Low copy analysis presents significant challenges, beginning with the crime scene itself. Investigators must try to swab areas that only the suspect would have touched, like a discarded tool or a jewelry box. In some cases, victims will be asked to provide "elimination samples" of their own DNA. "Let's face it," said Mark Dale, the director of the Police Department's crime lab,, "this is invisible evidence."

Because of the sample's small size, preventing contamination is a high priority. The high-sensitivity lab is a series of rooms connected by antiseptic glass cabinets or evidence pass-throughs. Test tubes will be irradiated to destroy stray chromosomes (sterilization guards against only bacteria). Legal releases are being drawn up so that DNA elimination samples can be taken from the housecleaning staff.

The DNA will be amplified, or copied, in cycles, just as it is in conventional testing. While conventional testing generally calls for 28 cycles, low copy testing will require at least 32 cycles, Dr. Prinz said. With each cycle, the DNA can lose fidelity, just like a photocopy of a photocopy, a major reason that low copy is considered less reliable.

If the lab succeeds, it is likely to go a long way toward setting new evidence standards for the country.

"Ultimately, the proof is going to be in the product," said Mr. Wickenheiser. "When they show what they can do, and people look at it and say, `Gosh, we ought to be doing that.' "

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

June 23rd, 2004, 11:35 PM
June 24, 2004

A Surge in Sensational Crimes Stokes Fears, Even as Statistics Show a Safer City


The list, considered as a whole, is certainly unnerving.

The body of Sarah Fox, a 21-year-old Juilliard student, is found in Inwood Hill Park. Stacy-Ann Sappleton, a Canadian bride-to-be, is found dead in a garbage bin in Queens. A business school executive is shot as he walks into a Queens subway station during the evening rush hour. A diamond district merchant is killed assassination-style on a busy Midtown avenue. A man being sought in the stabbing of his grandmother and the sexual assault of another woman is finally caught when he pushes a man onto the subway tracks at Columbus Circle. A quick-thinking policewoman shoots and kills Jose Rodriguez-DeJesus after he stabs three strangers in an afternoon rampage near Herald Square.

And that was just May.

June had just begun when Monica Meadows, a model, was shot in the shoulder as her subway car pulled into the Times Square station. Days later, the body of a homeless woman was found stuffed into a trunk sitting in a vacant lot in the East Village. Then a man was stabbed to death in front of tourists at the entrance to the Circle Line. In East New York, two young attackers bludgeoned a homeless man and left him to die in a church courtyard. And just Tuesday evening, a man was shot to death on a half-full subway car in Chelsea as terrified riders scattered.

Yet the numbers show clearly that, so far, there is no such thing as the New York summer crime wave of 2004 - killings remain among the lowest in decades and have continued to decline this year. Specifically, during the 28-day period that ended June 13, there were 39 murders, down almost 5 percent from the 41 in the same period last year, according to police figures. In fact, if the murder rate remains unchanged, New York will have the lowest homicide total at the end of the year since the city began systematically recording murders in 1962, the police said.

Similarly, robberies during the 28-day period were down almost 10 percent, to 1,784 from 1,979 last year, and felony assaults were down 5.7 percent, to 1,434 this year from 1,542 last year. Over all, violent crime was down 5.9 percent compared to that period last year.

Yet like buses that get inexplicably bunched together on their crosstown route, there have been an unusual number of sensational crimes, one after the other, since the weather turned warmer. One expert called them "nightmare crimes" - the type that hits people viscerally and lodges in their consciousness.

Perhaps the fact that the city is getting so safe, one expert suggested, is giving the crimes that do occur an undue share of attention. And more than one New Yorker interviewed yesterday blamed the media for exaggerating the violence. But many others said they, too, had taken note of these brazen acts.

"I have been noticing more crimes happening," said Julie Cormier, 28, who lives in Kips Bay in Manhattan and was leaving the subway station yesterday on her way to work. "I thought I was just paying more attention," she said.

However sensational some of the crimes may be, the police continued to emphasize what they have been saying since the middle 1990's: Crime is down all over New York.

"The fact is that the incidence of crime remains relatively low," said Paul W. Browne, deputy commissioner of public information for the department. "But the way it's covered you wouldn't necessarily know that." While crime has decreased, Mr. Browne said, newspapers and television news devote the same amount of space and time to covering it.

But there is perception, and there is reality, and the two rarely match. A crime in a crowded, public place, or an unsolved killing, apparently by a complete stranger, is enough to stiffen the gaits of tourists and commuters.

"I would understand if people reading the newspapers thought that the city was not as safe as the numbers show," said Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. "These are people's worst nightmare kind of crimes. You're on the subway minding your own business and then the next stop, somebody's robbed you or somebody's shot you or you're dead."

The subway crimes seem to resonate the most, and were most on the minds of New Yorkers who were interviewed yesterday, even though homicides underground have declined sharply in the last 13 years. There were just 4 killings in the subway system in 2003, compared with 26 in 1990.

"Most people don't become fearful from statistics," said Andrew Karmen, a professor of sociology at John Jay. "They become fearful from actual events that touch their lives. I can say, and the police can say, and the mayor can say that the violence underground is way, way down compared to what it used to be, but if somebody was on that subway car when the gunfire began or knew somebody who was shot at, that makes more difference than abstract statistical graphs. That's what influences fear level."

One reason these crimes stand out may simply be that the city is so safe. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his successor, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, have constantly reminded New Yorkers that the city is at the safest it has been in decades. Recently, Mayor Bloomberg announced that, according to a crime report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York ranks 211th out of 230 cities on the total crime index, right next to Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Every silver lining has a cloud. Fifteen years ago, crimes that would have been big news in Port St. Lucie might have hardly made the police blotter here. But now each crime looms larger when placed against the backdrop of what Mayor Bloomberg has called "the safest big city in the country."

A look back at newspaper articles from the same period 15 years ago shows the difference.

In May and June of 1989, the city was smoldering with fresh rage about the rape and beating of a jogger in Central Park, who was just coming out of a coma. But while the front pages were filled with stories of public outrage, the back pages were quietly reporting one startling crime after another.

A teenager was shot and killed while sitting in a McDonald's in Manhattan. A man driving on the Long Island Expressway was wounded by a stray bullet. In addition to the reports about a man who attacked subway passengers with a knife and a metal pipe, there were eight people shot in the subway during the period, one fatally, and one man stabbed to death on a platform in front of dozens of witnesses.

"I remember in the 80's, I remember people fighting and getting cut up on the subway all the time," said Brian Townsend, 49, a lifelong New Yorker who was in Washington Square Park yesterday. "You might be hearing about it more," he said, "but now things are more like isolated incidents."

And while crime cycles rise and fall, the nature of crime, at least, does not change. On the first day of May 1989, newspapers reported the discovery of the body of a 19-year-old woman. She had been strangled and her body was found in Fort Tryon Park, less than a mile from the place where Sarah Fox's body would be found 15 years later.

Anthony Ramirez and Colin Moynihan contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 11th, 2004, 08:31 PM
July 12, 2004

11 Die in Spate of Homicides Reminiscent of Bloodier Days


A weekend rash of 11 killings that evoked the bloody days of decades past included a shooting yesterday that sounded like a relic from those times: a man killed for his gold chain.

The victim, Erik A. Cortes, 24, was shot on Columbia Street on the Lower East Side shortly after midnight yesterday. Mr. Cortes became the 10th homicide in the city beginning Friday night, the police said. It was followed later yesterday morning by a fatal stabbing of an unidentified man in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

"The rash of homicides over the weekend is exceptional because of record low crime in New York," Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said yesterday in a prepared statement.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, speaking yesterday after a street-naming ceremony in Queens, acknowledged the weekend's violence. "There are too many guns on the street.'' The mayor said that guns had one purpose: to kill.

The spike in killings comes as the city's overall homicide rate remains below levels of a year ago. Through July 4, there were 273 killings in the city in 2004, down from 307 for the same period in 2003.

The Lower East Side, where Mr. Cortes died yesterday, was where he was reared, growing up to become a dialysis technician in the Bronx and living with his mother in Yonkers, his aunt said. He had saved for some time for his white gold chain, with a cross and diamonds.

"He was struggling not to give up the chain; he put up a fight," said his aunt, Candida Rosario. "Maybe if he would give it up, it wouldn't have happened. But he worked hard for what he earned."

The police said he was leaning up against a car when two men approached and one shot him.

His friend, Alex Ortiz, 24, was at a nearby playground at the time, and said yesterday: "He didn't have problems with anyone. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was just for the chain."

Since 8:45 p.m. Friday, when two men were shot, one fatally, in the Bronx, there were eight killings in Brooklyn, one in Queens, and the shooting of Mr. Cortes in Manhattan, the police said.

In one of the shooting cases, two men died, but the second will be ruled a suicide and is not counted among the 11 victims, the police said.

At about 6 p.m. Saturday, a 17-year-old man fatally wounded Andrew Gummo, 22, on 63rd Road in Rego Park, Queens, and then fled into a subway station, the police said. When officers chased him, he left the station and shot himself in the head in an alley off Saunders Street, the police said.

The gunman was identified as Norris Anderson of 63rd Road.

The last homicide occurred at about 7 a.m. yesterday, when a man was discovered with a stab wound to the stomach in front of 547 Classon Avenue, Prospect Heights, the police said. He died almost six hours later at Woodhull Hospital.

He was not immediately identified yesterday, and the police did not suggest a motive.

Marc Santora and Oren Yaniv contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

July 11th, 2004, 11:26 PM
I sure hope NYC can keep crime rates down. These random crimes are the ones that scare me most.

July 12th, 2004, 12:39 AM
Most of them are usually gang related or people who knew eachother for the most par... Murder crime towards strangers rarely happens. You are more likely to die in a car accident then by a crime from someone you don't know or you might know (I watch the crime channels... they are good :wink: ).

July 12th, 2004, 11:45 AM
I wonder exactly what set off the crime rate this weekend. It wasn't particularly hot, and it's been nice for the past few weekends, so it's not like people have been cooped up.

July 15th, 2004, 12:48 AM
Hundreds Of Extra Cops Hit The Streets To Stem Surge In Violence

JULY 14TH, 2004

Hundreds of additional police are hitting the streets after a deadly weekend in the nation's safest big city.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered the crackdown to help stop the recent increase of violent crime.

Officers from all bureaus will be assigned to overnight shifts in crime-plagued areas of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Kelly ordered the move after 11 people were killed in a three-day span.

The extra show of force is expected to last at least two weeks.

Despite the recent surge in violence, murders in the city are once again down significantly for the year.

Copyright © 2004 NY1 News.

July 15th, 2004, 11:41 AM
Why are they neglecting Queens? Haven't quite a few of the recent shootings taken place there?

July 15th, 2004, 01:31 PM
I wonder exactly what set off the crime rate this weekend. It wasn't particularly hot, and it's been nice for the past few weekends, so it's not like people have been cooped up.

Merely coincidence.

July 30th, 2004, 04:25 PM
Does anyone know where I could find statistics that compare various crime rates of the different boroughs of NYC?

The NYPD's Compstat archives can be downloaded here:


Also, this Website provides New York's crime statistics for 2002. The 2003 statistics, save for murder and GTA which both rose very slightly, were all lower.


Murders are down by a lot this year, though. In all honesty, you're more likely to be a victim of any sort of crime -- particularly petty crime -- in London or Paris, than you are in New York. I can't tell you about Stockholm, but the best advice I can give is to just have common sense where and when needed and you'll be fine.

August 8th, 2004, 06:30 AM
August 8, 2004


Policing a City Where Streets Are Less Mean



The Officers of the Fifth (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/khtml/2004/08/08/nyregion/20040808_PRECINCT_FEATURE.html)
Audio interviews and photos of those featured in this story.

The little fish are dried and laid out flat and look more like bookmarks than creatures that once swam in water, just another in a galaxy of species on the sidewalks of Chinatown that the police lieutenant - a neighborhood girl back when the girls were all Parisis and Ciprianos and Russos - cannot identify by name or purpose.

"Who's in charge here?" she bellows, deep-voiced, into the store. Curious passers-by join the crowd on the corner of Mott and Grand Streets. She couldn't care less if the fish are dead or still flapping or an endangered species or made of uranium: they are stacked on the sidewalk without a permit, and this store has been warned before.

"You don't want to listen?" the lieutenant, Carolyn Fanale, hollers at a man inside. "This is what happens." She sweeps her hand through the air toward the rows of fish and bark and mushrooms hard as stones. "Gone!" She calls over her radio for more officers and a van to cart the stuff off. An old lady pauses near a box. "Touch anything, you'll be arrested for obstruction," Lieutenant Fanale warns. The lady takes off.

Most striking about this scene is not that such friction exists between city and shopkeeper over sidewalk space, or that language and cultural barriers remain so impenetrable between the police and the policed in 21st-century Manhattan, or that a sizable chunk of a store's inventory can be seized so swiftly.

Look at the police officer, or more precisely, her rank. Ten years ago, a lieutenant would have been scoffed at or reprimanded for going door to door on Mott Street in search of unlicensed produce vendors, knockoff purses and kebab carts parked too close to the curb: "Don't you have something better to do? Shouldn't you be out catching bad guys?''

But this is the job in one Manhattan precinct, 10 years after crime in the city began its precipitous drop. All but gone are the chalk outlines, the cooling bodies draped in plastic. The command to "move along, folks, nothing to see here" has taken on a new meaning: there truly is nothing to see. Instead, police officers pursue a variety of tasks that just a decade ago, when 2,000 New Yorkers were killed each year, would have seemed unimaginably minor. The drop in crime has reshaped the face of policing in ways small and large, obvious and surprising.

At the heart of the changes is Compstat, a means of statistically analyzing where and when crimes are occurring, a new philosophy that transformed crime-fighting in 1994 and is, today, as deeply embedded in the identity of the Police Department as its badges. Compstat is the boss who never goes home, never takes a day off. Compstat decides when officers sleep. A little spike in a precinct's numbers sends squads of officers to the night shift.

"Compstat's like religion," Lieutenant Fanale says. "It's a really, really good idea, like religion. But you get people involved, and it gets all screwed up."

To spend months with the men and women of the Fifth Precinct is to see how Compstat and the changes it has wrought have altered the lives of those who protect the city. But it is also to see something more: How even amid this radical reshaping, the world of the policeman and the policewoman remains uniquely insular, a family of eccentrics and characters moving through the corridors of an ancient building and the crowded, narrow streets surrounding it.

There is affection and teasing, celebration and disappointment, resentment and frustration. Personal lives are open and exposed. Here is Lieutenant Fanale's dream of a new baby; an officer's wait for a promotion; a rookie's first assignment, all unfolding in a fast-moving montage of crowds and tourists in the roiling heart of downtown Manhattan.

The Station House

The Fifth Precinct: Houston Street down to the Brooklyn Bridge, from Broadway over past the Bowery, to Allen. Chinatown, the courthouses, Little Italy, slivers of SoHo and the Lower East Side. When the station house, the city's oldest, was built on Elizabeth Street, in 1881, it was just a block or so north of the teeming Five Points, a motley intersection of streets that spread out like Bill the Butcher's fingers in the 2002 film "Gangs of New York." In the movie, to convey the menace of the place, he clamped that open hand into a tight fist.

Today, that hand would be getting a manicure on Spring Street, or offering menus to passing tourists on Mulberry, or clipping the velvet rope back in place behind long legs scooting on Manolo Blahniks into the nightclub Blvd for a glimpse of the guy who won "The Apprentice."

The precinct is home to 57,199 people and is roughly 66 percent Asian, according to the 2000 census, up almost 11 percent from 1990, and 16 percent white, down almost 9 percent. Chinatown versus Little Italy, Chinatown winning.

Chinatown: an island within an island, where blocks stretch without a word of English heard or seen. Like the Italians before them, its population has a historical wariness of the authorities here, and residents, especially the elderly, are notorious for not reporting crimes, the police officers say.

The week's crime log reads like the police blotter in a country newspaper: "States she was having drinks at the bar with her purse at her feet. She reached for it to get her sweater and noticed it was gone." Officer feels something bounce off his chest and observes marijuana cigarette, tossed from window of vehicle stuck in traffic. Teenage boys steal Yu-Gi-Oh! cards - Pokémon-type prints of cartoon characters that are worth some money - from Asian children.

To be sure, there are many precincts with more crimes, and several with even fewer; and the Fifth Precinct has enjoyed the same wave of prosperity that has changed the city as much as any crime-fighting tool. But the Fifth is more typical than not.

Like the officers in all precincts, those in the Fifth are constantly reminded to watch out for suspicious behavior in the post-9/11 world. Since the terror alert last week, officers from other precincts have been called to Canal Street, a Lower Manhattan traffic artery. An officer is always posted at the Brooklyn Bridge, although that post is kept far busier by people trying to jump off than by those trying to knock it down.

Inside, the station house has changed remarkably little. They used to keep the corpses in a white-tiled room in the back. Now the room holds office supplies. The men and women who arrive in handcuffs face the duty officer across a tall wooden desk older than their grandparents. Beneath their shuffling feet, the floor creaks.

There are a handful of computers on the first floor. Some even work. "Do not use computer," warns a sticky note on one. "Has a virus." When someone discovered that one officer had a personal Web page, his photograph was printed dozens of times on adhesive paper and stuck all over the station house, and then all over the precinct, on stop signs, on deli walls.

Two captains, 7 lieutenants, 19 sergeants, 6 detectives, and 123 officers, about one in five of them a woman. There are three shifts: days, evenings and midnights. Within those shifts, more shifts. The officers on the peddler squad know the labyrinth of codes determining who can sell what, where. The "midnight conditions," or cabaret officers, spend most of their energies answering the inevitable noise complaints of a city that sleeps on top of its bars and restaurants.

Anticrime officers wear baggy Starter jerseys that hang low over the guns and radios. They patrol in a police car disguised as a taxicab, complete with the number and light on top. It does not pass close scrutiny - two white guys, both riding up front? - but people still flag it.

No one will admit to a quota, but everyone is expected to make one arrest per quarter, four a year.

Years ago, somebody moved the door to the precinct commander's office on the first floor a few feet to the right, creating a little alcove, to eliminate the clear shot of a potential assassin. Inside the room, before a working gas fireplace and a framed law degree, is Capt. William Matusiak.

The Boss

Violent crime in the precinct has dropped 70 percent since 1993, the first year recorded by the Compstat system. It is Captain Matusiak's job to keep that number down, and make it even lower. He is the precinct's 23rd commanding officer since 1969, when its official liaison to the Asian community, Shuck Seid, 78, began keeping track.

Across from Captain Matusiak's desk is the wipe-off board of the week's crimes, a more important view of the precinct than a picture window twice its size: assault, robbery, grand larceny, auto theft, burglary, rape and murder. The last two are less frequent than parades. This year's only killing so far was on Jan. 17. Xiang Ving Jiang was shot to death on East Broadway. At this time in 1994, there were nine.

The captain, 41, has a reserved parking spot out front and lives 52 miles away, in northern Westchester. Sometimes he sacks out in a little bed in the office. He puffs a cigar and looks at a little spike of seven grand larcenies, defined as thefts of goods worth more than $1,000. "No good," he says. "No good." For a break, he stands on the station's front steps, watching police officers come and go.

He was No. 2, the executive officer, in the Sixth Precinct in the West Village and in the Ninth Precinct in the East Village. This is his first precinct command, a position seen as a rung for up-and-comers, keeping the shine on a little facet of the crown jewel of the New York City Police Department's boroughs: Manhattan South.

He drives through the precinct. A homeless man is slouched on the sidewalk. "Look at this guy," the captain says, and flags down an officer on a scooter. "Do me a favor. Move that guy, the bag guy," he says.

"We move him, and he just comes back someplace else," the uniform replies.

Captain Matusiak drives off, only to see another derelict man pushing several carts up the Bowery. "Look at this guy."

He thinks about what it must have been like to be the commanding officer of the precinct when he became a beat officer 20 years ago: "It would have been a much nicer job. They worried about crime, but they didn't worry about crime like I worry about crime. They worried about summonses, corruption. They weren't so focused on reducing crime. That's something Compstat did. I mean, don't get me wrong. It's a good thing, but it's an odd thing."

"I was on vacation last week. I was on the phone for hours, worrying about every complaint report," he says. "I guess I'm still going through that insecurity. Am I worthy? Am I doing enough?"

Sometimes, he has to put a man somewhere, like one night in April, when he sent Nicky Lau to the Café Habana on Prince Street. The bartender handed a Corona to Mr. Lau, who set it on the bar without taking a sip and stepped outside. Mr. Lau, a police cadet in a precinct in Queens, is 18.

An unmarked sedan pulled up, and Lieutenant Fanale called the bartender outside to issue a summons.

Under-age-drinking operations are not unusual in a precinct stacked with bars, nightclubs and dives. But in this instance, Captain Matusiak was not particularly worried about teenagers drinking at Habana. He wanted the owner's full attention.

Here is the problem: The cafe gets crowded. Women hang purses on the backs of their chairs. In the cramped space, the purses are stolen. The women file police reports. The thefts are automatic grand larcenies whenever credit cards are taken. The grand larcenies are recorded in the week's Compstat tally, and if that list is too long, the precinct commander is called to 1 Police Plaza for a grilling and a scolding. Too many scoldings, and a precinct commander finds himself assigned someplace else.

A few days after Mr. Lau ordered his beer, the cafe's owner showed up at the station house and sat across the desk from Captain Matusiak. The owner was worried; the captain consoled him.

"Last night was, I'm sure, a one-shot deal," Captain Matusiak said before getting to the point: "You've got to help us out with the unattended property. We're getting killed at your place."

There has not been a purse reported stolen since.

Once a month, people who live or work in the precinct are invited to the station house to speak up about their problems or concerns. At the April community meeting, for example, a woman raised her hand toward the end with a complaint. An ice cream truck passed - and often stopped - in front of her apartment building every day, playing its song at high volume. She had written down the truck's license plate number.

Before Captain Matusiak could answer, a second woman raised her hand and said that as a matter of fact, she had the same problem, and had also written down the license number, but it was a different truck.

A uniformed officer stepped forward and said: "I took care of him today. You won't have a problem with him anymore. You have a problem, you call me personally. I'll take care of it."

Afterward, disbelief spread quickly among the officers. "Crime's been down," said Sgt. Sean Looney, a community affairs officer, "but the other complaints haven't gone anywhere. It used to be, 'Hey, there's guys with guns going to shoot them off,' and now it's Mister Softee playing his music."

Ten years ago, someone complaining about ice cream trucks would have been laughed out of the room. Ten years ago, an officer who promised to take care of it would have been marked for life, still hearing about it at his retirement party: Hey, Officer Ice Cream.

Police officers sat around after the meeting. Maytag repairmen in bulletproof vests.

One asked, "What's the world coming to?"

And another answered, "We've got to bring crime back."

The Floor Manager

If Captain Matusiak is like the C.E.O. of a small business, then his floor manager is Lieutenant Fanale, with three years in the precinct, and a lifetime. She was just months old when she was whisked home to Elizabeth Street 40 years ago after she was adopted in what she calls, proudly, a "borderline black-marketish" exchange of healthy baby and dead presidents in the Bronx. Her grandparents sold fruit from carts in this neighborhood.

"What surprises me is that the city has prospered so much that it's not the violent crimes that are happening in excess," she says.

Lieutenant Fanale is a lesbian, and she likes provoking the red-cheeked Irish rookies who arrive in the spring. Out of earshot of the other officers, she says: "I'm so out in this job. That's the greatest part of this job. I'm free to be me, and that makes me a better person, a better boss."

Her personal life has never been more on display than right now: Everyone in the precinct knows that Lieutenant Fanale is trying to become a mother.

In March, she began her latest round of hormone therapy to stimulate egg production, so that some eggs may be extracted, impregnated with sperm from a bank in California, and placed into her uterus. The last time, the embryos did not survive. Before that, six attempts at artificial insemination failed.

The lieutenant's latest on-the-job headache is an older woman who lives on Grand and Mott Streets, her window looking down on a congested corner. She regularly calls and writes to complain about the street peddlers selling compact discs or jewelry or fruit or soup without permits - so many that some sidewalks are practically impassable - and claims that the Fifth Precinct looks the other way.

"I'm not going to arrest an 80-year-old woman for selling bras on Mott Street," Lieutenant Fanale says. "I'm not going to be the next one on the cover of The Daily News, writing a summons for sitting on a milk crate." She explained this to the woman. "You know what she said to me? 'I'll support you.' "

Minutes later, the lieutenant is rampaging down Mott Street, shouting over an open cardboard box of frozen fish for sale on the sidewalk without a permit. "You don't speak English?" she shouts at the proprietor. "O.K., then I'll stop talking." She lifts the heavy box of ice and seafood and hurls it into the store. Sales girls jump. "Do you understand what 'inside' means now?"

Were her grandparents selling their fruit today, she would have to chase them off.

Late one night, Lieutenant Fanale sits in the passenger seat of her unmarked car, waiting for the undercover cadet to enter a pool hall that is not supposed to be selling alcohol, but may be anyway. Beside her is Officer Jacqueline Peters, her driver and friend since the lieutenant arrived in the Fifth. "I wish Sonny would get here with my shots," the lieutenant says. She left her hormone injections back at the precinct house. The officer finally calls her cellphone.

"I'm on the corner of Eldridge and Hester," Lieutenant Fanale says. She hangs up and chuckles. "It's like a drug transaction."

Another unmarked car pulls up. An officer, Richie Stellmann, leans out with a paper bag. "We got the goods," he says, passing it over and driving away.

Her driver, Officer Peters, takes the needles and small bottles that Lieutenant Fanale hands her and arranges them on the keyboard of the laptop computer between the front seats. Working in the pale glow of the screen, she draws liquid from the bottles into the syringe, tapping the tube with a fingernail to get the bubbles out. "You know somebody's going to call this in," the lieutenant says. " 'They're shooting up in the car and they're wearing N.Y.P.D. jackets.' "

She kneels sideways on the seat, ducking her head and spiked gray hair against the roof. Officer Peters leans forward and carefully inserts the needle into her lieutenant's belly and pushes the plunger. Done.

Lieutenant Fanale sits back down and picks up her radio.

"How we doing?" she asks the officers near the pool hall. "Is he in yet?"

The Metrosexual

The little boutiques are Officer Stellmann's beat. Incredible, the changes around here. Fathers used to make their family wait in the car while they checked their building's foyer for sleeping homeless people. These days the most obvious crime is the Bolognese sauce. Today, fathers drop $20 on a round of rice pudding cups, from a shop that sells only rice pudding.

The boutiques boggle the minds of police officers, most of them with homes on Long Island or Staten Island: the stores seem to open when they feel like it, and sell about seven things, and they make a killing. Often high on price and low on security, the boutiques have been ripe targets for simple larcenies, young men darting into, say, the store Vice on Lafayette Street, grabbing a bunch of jeans and running out.

Officer Stellmann's business cards are tacked behind counters all over Little Italy and its younger, moneyed cousin, NoLIta. The officer, who is 31, began work in the precinct 10 years ago, a restaurant manager turned rookie cop aiming high. "I wanted to be a gung-ho cop. I wanted to make a lot of arrests. Rise up the ladder, be a big boss."

That's not quite what happened. He spent his first three years on two fixed posts, standing around, first at the South Street Seaport, then at the courthouse. "I didn't see a patrol car. I didn't arrest anybody. I hated it." It bored him into underachievement. "That ruined my whole aspect of becoming a boss on this job," he says.

"I thought it was going to be cops and robbers, gung-ho stuff. But our major crime is mostly car boosters, peddlers. That's a major thing for the precinct. This is more of a political precinct." More schmoozing than shooting. He became the precinct's delegate to the union.

He periodically drops by the shops on his beat, to check out the security, and the sales. "The joke in the precinct is I'm the metrosexual cop," says Officer Stellmann, who is from Queens and is known in the precinct as Sonny. "I get my nails done every month. I get a pedicure every two months. I get my eyebrows plucked, my body waxed. I like to dress well, to feel good. I love fashion."

The Rookie

One warm Friday, the anticrime squad tries its own trick, a pick operation. A plainclothes officer walks down Canal with her backpack unzipped. More officers follow - or "ghost " - her from a discreet distance.

The bait is a rookie, Officer Suk Too, 28, a Chinese immigrant who wanted to be a police officer since high school here. "They picked on us because we're small, me and my friends," she said. She is so short, she worries that she will never be able to patrol on a bicycle because she may not be able to reach the pedals.

"I'm short and I'm small, and every time I'd look up to a cop I feel like, wow, it must be really cool to be a cop," she said.

Cool, indeed: Last month, Officer Too, responding to a 911 call of someone throwing bottles out a window in SoHo, found herself in an elevator with a disturbed and rambling Courtney Love. She tried calming her down, and called her Courtney.

Today she looks every inch the part of a student strolling aimlessly, with her sunglasses and T-shirt and half-open backpack. If you look closely, you can even see a dollar bill sticking out of the wallet. People hurry and shuffle and glide and lurch past her.

No takers. An older officer tells her later that one guy seemed interested in the wallet, but that Officer Too walked off too fast for him to make his move. "You see somebody who looks good, you slow down," the officer says. "Let them have a chance."

In the old days, rookies stood in front of corpses, keeping the rubberneckers moving, or twirling their nightsticks at the seaport to ward off drug dealers and addicts. Now it's pickpockets and rock stars.

With the arrival of spring, Canal Street teems with residents, window-shoppers, tourists. Victims. It's not hard to imagine that some of the thieves use tricks that were popular a hundred years ago, when the area was the Five Points slum.

There is the Ketchup Trick: Guy comes up from behind and secretly squirts ketchup on the unsuspecting target, then points out the stain and offers to help, eventually picking the flustered person's pocket.

There are the second-story men, breaking into Chinatown apartments from the fire escape while the residents are out, looting the place, and leaving from the front door. Thieves from Brooklyn come over on the train, snatch a few purses, and are back across the East River before an Asian officer with the right dialect can take a report - if the victim calls the police at all.

Like wide neckties and disco, even the old tricks come back. "When's the last time you saw the rock-in-the-box?" an officer in civilian clothes asks, jerking his thumb toward the man locked up in the holding cell in the back room. The man had tried to sell the officer a camcorder, still in the box, for $150 on Canal Street. Inside was a hunk of concrete wrapped in paper.

There are still D.O.A.'s, dead-on-arrivals, that the officers regularly find in the precinct. Each one is a life lost, a source of pain to friends and family.

But when is a dead man in the precinct good news in the station house?

One night, a man rushes to a friend's apartment. He has not heard from him in days, and hurries to the little walk-up in Little Italy and asks the superintendent to unlock the door. It opens, but only a little. The chain inside is latched. Not good.

Officer Anthony Keck and his partner, Officer Wang Lee, respond to the call. Officer Keck leans back on one big boot and puts the other into the door, snapping the chain. Hand resting on his holstered gun, he walks inside the cluttered one-bedroom and peeks around a corner. He winces, turns back toward the door and says, "D.O.A."

The body is sprawled awkwardly on the floor, as if trying to roll over. The gray, sunken face is unrecognizable from the one on the man's California driver's license, a 46-year-old personal manager in the music industry who once worked with Herbie Hancock and David Byrne on soundtracks that led to Academy Awards for them. He was trying for a comeback.

None of the officers know any of this, or have ever heard of him. More arrive.

"You got a smoke?" one asks.

Another shakes his head.

"Oh, man, you quit?" the first asks. "How'd you do it?"

"Wanted to."

There is cocaine and heroin paraphernalia in the room. Variety and Billboard will publish short obituaries in the days ahead, but Compstat will not record this death. The numeral 1 in the precinct's murder column will not change in this apartment.

When is a dead man good news?

When he got that way himself.

The Enterprising Officer

Officer George Wolfrom, 32, has watched the sun rise over the neighborhood from behind the wheel of his patrol car since February 2000, when he joined the department. It's great for golfing: off duty at 7:50 a.m. every day, teeing off by 10.

Officer Wolfrom is one of a handful of military reservists in the precinct. He shipped out to Iraq for half of last year with the Marines, mainly patrolling Nasiriya. He is single; there was no wife worrying back home, no children. Truth is, he loved it. "There was no better feeling as an American," he says. "I'd definitely go back if I was called."

If you're a police officer, there are two ways to leave the precinct. Ask to, or screw up. He has a plan: "My goal is to go to the Joint Terrorist Task Force. I have a little experience in fighting terrorists. It's something I think I would be very good at."

To get on the task force, an officer has to get his gold shield, make the rank of detective. Officer Wolfrom is smart enough to know that the department is thick with others who think they are headed to an elite unit, only to wake up for work 15 years later with the same uniform hanging on the back of the chair.

The job is like war that way. Promotions come quickly in combat, slowly during peacetime. In a department of some 37,000 officers, it is not easy to stand out.

Unless you catch a break.

In early April, Officer Wolfrom responded to a call in a neighboring precinct, a woman lying on the subway tracks. The police got her up and put her in an ambulance to Bellevue Hospital Center for a psychiatric work-up. Officer Wolfrom ended up taking her husband along in his radio car.

The next day, stuck in traffic after golfing, he heard a news report on the radio about the rape of a patient in Bellevue. The victim's description of the rapist sounded familiar: the husband. Officer Wolfrom called a detective. By the time he got to work shortly before midnight, the husband had been arrested.

Days later, Officer Wolfrom found himself dressed in a suit and standing beside Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly at a ceremony at 1 Police Plaza. The news media were there, cameras, the whole deal. He played down his role: "There's not many people at Bellevue that tall and wearing a leather jacket." The commissioner handed him a check for $500 and told him, "Spend it in good health."

He did, starting with a steak at Peter Luger. Coincidentally, that night was the precinct's private Spring Fling party at Capitale, a swank club in a former bank on the Bowery. He kept the suit on and smiled at the waitress with the tray of something called caponata. Not bad. Despite the year-old smoking ban, most hands at the party sprouted lit cigarettes like thin, pale fingers. His tie loosened, beer in hand, Officer Wolfrom spent much of the night being slapped on the back by his fellow officers.

A year ago, he thought, I was drinking warm water in Nasiriya. Wow.

Friends told him this couldn't be bad for getting closer to the task force. "This," he said, "hopefully speeds things up."

Anatomy of a Bad Day

At a recent community meeting, things were dragging. An elderly man in the back was insisting there had been a breach in parliamentary procedure.

The cellphone on Lieutenant Fanale's hip should have already rung to tell her the results of her blood test that morning, and whether she was finally pregnant. "I'm a nervous wreck," she muttered. Most of the officers in the building knew she was expecting news from the doctor. After all, this is the woman who, when she leaves the precinct house, shouts over her shoulder, "Heading out like a fetus!"

She finally got the call after 10 p.m. "It's not good news. That's why you didn't call, right?" she said into her cellphone. Around her, 10 officers stopped what they were doing and stared.

Pause. "What does that mean?" the lieutenant asked.

Pause. "So I might be pregnant right now?"

The officers exchanged looks. Might be pregnant?

"O.K. O.K. O.K. O.K. Should I be taking it easy or anything?"

The lieutenant hung up. The voice on the other end had said her hormone levels were high for someone who was not pregnant, but alarmingly low for someone who was. Yes, she might be pregnant. They would draw blood again in two days to be sure.

Some officers mumbled awkward congratulations as she dialed her mother. Most just disappeared.

Two days passed: Friday, the beginning of what was shaping up to be a long weekend. The night before in Queens, in the 109th Precinct, a stabbing occurred and was believed to involve Asian gangs; officers working the case were tipped that a retaliatory strike could take place in Chinatown. An extra slate of six officers and a sergeant were assigned the evening and midnight shifts for three days, a total of six overtime shifts. Nobody was getting a weekend.

And nobody needed one as badly as Lieutenant Fanale, standing, as sundown approached, in front of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. She directed another officer to keep traffic off this block of Mott Street until a wedding inside ended.

She was baptized in this church. She was on the way here when her cellphone rang. It was the doctor. She had been pregnant, but she had a miscarriage. "Sometime between Wednesday morning and Friday morning," she said outside the cathedral. Organ music seeped out from inside.

The lieutenant looked exhausted. A helicopter hovered overhead somewhere, out of sight. She thought it must be the police, part of the extra detail for the weekend, a show of presence beyond the uniforms on the street.

She was wrong.

A week later, the story was shown on the Channel 2 news at 11 p.m., the lead segment in the broadcast: "Why was a New York City street shut down for a wedding?" the anchor asked, staring gravely into the camera. "It looks like a well-connected couple was getting married and didn't want to deal with traffic. Now an investigation is under way into this controversial police perk. . . .''

The report included complaints from two or three people who live or work in the neighborhood, and a promise from a city councilman to look into the matter, calling the closing "completely unacceptable."

The helicopter overhead that day was Chopper 2, shooting images of the two stretch limousines.

Two days after the story was broadcast, Lieutenant Fanale was still fuming. "I haven't been able to sleep, I'm so annoyed."

The wedding was not a special case, she insisted. Between the parked limousines and construction across the street, cars had little room to pass that day, and the street was closed for less than an hour. The police did the same thing the day before for a big funeral in Chinatown.

"A lot of people don't understand; all they have to do is ask, and we'll accommodate them," she said. "It makes our jobs easier."

Yes, she knew the couple getting married, although remotely, through friends of her grandparents who lived for many years on the next block from the church. By that standard, she knows everyone who has spent any time in the neighborhood in the last half century.

"All those shops on Mott, Mulberry, they all have my cellphone number, in case someone picks their pocket or whatever. And these are the same people who are back-stabbing me," she said. "I don't have to give out my cellphone number. Technically, I could tell them to call 911."

She had the next two days off, her first two in a row since she was on bed rest with the implanted embryos two weeks before.


Captain Matusiak marked his first anniversary as commanding officer last week. The tug-of-war with Compstat continues: This week, he will try to keep the number of crimes below 24, the figure for the same week last year. The summer of 2003 was a wet one, and the weather kept the criminals indoors, but this season has been sunnier, and crime is down only about 2 percent.

Officer Wolfrom was transferred to the precinct's anticrime unit in June. He gets to work in plain clothes, and takes a step toward a gold shield. He works from 4 p.m. to midnight and squeezes in his golf before work. A few weeks after his Bellevue collar, a man he was trying to restrain on the Lower East Side punched him in the mouth, chipping a tooth.

Officer Too still walks her post on Canal Street and answers the phone in the station. From time to time, she gets to work in plain clothes, as she did in May, when she visited three Chinese groceries and bought a bottle of counterfeit cough syrup at each one.

Lieutenant Fanale is considering taking the captain's test, after completing her degree. She has not decided whether she will try again with pregnancy. "I'm trying not to think about it," she says. She was offered a job at 1 Police Plaza, a post in the domestic violence unit, but she turned it down. Too much desk work.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
October 1st, 2004, 02:40 PM

Death (mostly)
by association


Random murder is becoming largely a thing of the past on the streets of New York.

As the city's homicide rate continues its dramatic, decade-long decline, a closer look at the NYPD's crime statistics has revealed something remarkable.

Of the 1,010 people killed in New York from the beginning of 2003 through last Sunday, nearly four of every five victims knew their killers.

During the same span, nearly three of every five suspects charged with murder had rap sheets - as did nearly four of every five victims, according to a study by the NYPD Office of Management Analysis and Planning.

"It is highly unlikely that a tourist or a law-abiding citizen would be the victim of murder," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Daily News yesterday.

Kelly ordered the NYPD to examine the homicide data more closely last year in an effort to find new ways to continue reducing murders and other major crime.

Law enforcement officials long have theorized that many murder victims had criminal records, so their findings were not unexpected, Kelly said.

"But the fact that it's up that high - almost 80% - was somewhat surprising," Kelly said.

The startling data makes clear that killings such as the slaying of Usha Taneja, a 56-year-old mother from College Point, Queens, who was bludgeoned to death during an armed robbery in late August, are rare occurrences.

No comparable data exist for the years prior to 2003, but over the past 11 years, the city's murder rate has plunged 71.8%, according to the latest NYPD statistics.

So far this year, the city's streets are safer than they have ever been since reliable data were first kept in 1962.

Through Sunday, 413 people have been killed compared with 458 people during the first nine months of 2003 - a nearly 10% drop.

If the pace holds, about 551 people will be killed this year, roughly a quarter of the peak year, 1990, when 2,245 people were murdered.

In addition to the homicide decline, major crime also has fallen by 4.9% this year, with every significant category - except rape and grand larceny - down.

The NYPD has been able to keep crime falling, despite added counterterrorism demands and budget cuts that have shrunk the force by 5,000 cops in the past four years.

Kelly credited rank-and-file cops for the success and also pointed to Operation Impact, an initiative that floods high-crime zones with cops.

Major-crime categories in the targeted areas are down an average of 35% and homicides are down 27%, Kelly said.

Criminologists have cautioned that the homicide decline cannot continue forever and eventually will bottom out. But Kelly was not willing to take that position yesterday.

"Our goal is to continue to suppress crime of all types," he said. "There is no letup on our part and there will be no letup."

Originally published on October 1, 2004

©Copyright The New York Daily News, 2004

December 3rd, 2004, 08:56 AM
Battling Gun Violence In The Streets And In The Courts (http://gothamgazette.com/article/crime/20041202/4/1200)

December 13th, 2004, 10:46 PM
December 14, 2004

Mayor Vows to Keep Crime Low


Crystallizing his message for his re-election campaign, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said yesterday that crime has fallen nearly 5 percent this year in New York, and wrapped the announcement in a rosy assessment of life in the city under his tutelage.

"I think it's fair to say our city is on a roll," Mr. Bloomberg said during a news conference in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. "Our quality of life is strong, our schools are improving and our economy is growing again. Jobs are being created in all five boroughs and unemployment is the lowest it's been in three years."

And setting a new bar for his performance on the law enforcement front, Mr. Bloomberg also declared, "As long as I am mayor we will keep crime coming down in this city." Crime has fallen sharply over the last decade and New York outpaces the rest of the nation.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York's crime rate remains 25th out of the 25 major cities around the country, and out of 217 cities with populations greater than 100,000, New York City was ranked 203rd, between Alexandria, Va., and Ann Arbor, Mich.

The mayor, whose statistics came from the Police Department and are as of last week, attributed much of the drop in crime to Operation Impact, a program that puts more officers in neighborhoods where crime patterns persist. This year, the initiative has resulted in more than 11,000 arrests, Mr. Bloomberg said. Further, the city is on course to have fewer than 600 homicides by year's end for the third year in a row; in the Bronx, homicides are down 34.5 percent over the last three years.

During his lengthy remarks yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg also alluded to the 18.5 percent property tax increase he ordered in 2002. The mayor is not fond of talking about the increase. But yesterday he used it to defend his record on maintaining city services. "I did something unpopular," he said, "I asked the City Council to pass a tax increase." But he did so, he said, "not worrying about politics." The mayor was concerned enough about politics, however, to refund most of the increase this year, a move likely central to his re-election bid as well.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

December 23rd, 2004, 11:48 PM
December 24, 2004

New York Murder Rate Falls Again, but Has It Hit Bottom?


Homicides in New York City are down more than 5 percent as the year draws to a close, continuing a remarkable 14-year decline that has long confounded experts. Five of the other six major crime categories have also dropped.

As of yesterday morning, with barely more than a week to go in 2004, there had been 549 slayings in the city, down from 579 in the same period last year and from 2,245 in all of 1990, at the height of the crack epidemic. In all, 597 people were slain in the city in 2003.

A few of the country's largest cities have improved on New York's decline, notably Chicago, with a stunning 25 percent decrease in homicides from last year to this year. In the first six months of the year, cities with populations over a million drove their homicide rate down an average of 8.7 percent, according to F.B.I. statistics. But experts say that those cities, many of which have adopted New York's crime-fighting strategies, are playing catch-up, while New York is trimming the fat ever closer to the bone.

"When you lose weight, it's always easier to lose the first pounds than the latter pounds," said Eli Silverman, a professor of police studies at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "What other cities have done is quite remarkable, but on the other hand it has to be taken into consideration where they were before. The fact that New York still went down is even more remarkable."

In the country's 10 largest cities, the homicide rate (the number of murders per 100,000 people each year) was 12.4, according to the F.B.I.'s most recent data. In New York, it was 6.8.

New York's overall number of serious crimes also declined, by 4.6 percent, with only one category, grand larceny, increasing. The drop in crime has defied the expectations of criminologists, many of whom warned of an uptick as the economy slowed after 1999.

The numbers are a boon for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is likely to point to them as one of the concrete achievements of his administration as he runs for re-election next year, and for his police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly.

The drop comes despite the fact that the New York City Police Department is somewhat smaller than it was at times during the last 10 years, down to 37,000 from roughly 40,000, and the fact that the department is focused on preventing terrorism in addition to fighting crime.

Still, some say New Yorkers have come to expect an ever-safer city even as that becomes harder to provide. The declines are inevitably slowing, and Compstat, the Police Department's vaunted and imitated accountability system, has in effect made the department a victim of its own success by focusing on percentage drops from one year to the next.

In 2001, the newspaper columnist Jack Newfield suggested that a homicide count below 600 would be worth a ticker tape parade. If things stay on course, 2004 will be the third year in a row that the city has met that goal.

"The good news is how far we've come, and the disappointing part is that we can't seem to go much lower than this number," said Andrew Karmen, a sociologist who has extensively analyzed the factors affecting New York's crime rate, from drug use and unemployment to the size of the police force.

Even Commissioner Kelly acknowledged yesterday that there was a limit to crime reduction.

"There's always unfortunately going to be a core number of homicides that law enforcement can't do very much about," he said.

The numbers bear this out - the percentage of killings that happen on the street has gone down, to 33 percent from 40 percent last year, while the percentage in homes and housing projects has increased slightly, according to a new Police Department homicide and shooting database maintained by the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Garry F. McCarthy.

Mr. Kelly attributes much of the decline in homicide to the increasingly precise deployment of resources. Operation Impact, for example, pinpoints the city's most troubled blocks and floods them with uniformed officers and anticrime squads.

"Our homicides are down in the domestic violence area, down as far as gang-related incidents are concerned," he said yesterday. "Impact focuses on those areas where you have that gang activity."


Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

TLOZ Link5
December 25th, 2004, 03:31 PM
I think it's to assume that the decline in the murder rate is "bottoming out," so to speak. We've heard such predictions in 1998, when there was last an "end" to the decline; the numbers for 1999 and 2000 were consecutively higher before going down again in 2001, sans September 11. I won't count the slight uptick in 2003 from 2002 because the numbers are way too similar.

As times — and crimes — change, so, too, must tactics for fighting crime. Maybe next year we can shoot for fewer than 500 homicides.

December 31st, 2004, 02:30 AM
December 31, 2004

As Murders Fall, New Tactics Are Tried Against Remainder


Graphic: A Picture of Declining Crime (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/30/nyregion/crime.gif)

Murders in New York City have dropped, again. So low has the number dipped - to 566 so far this year from a high of 2,245 in 1990 - that even Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has begun to gently lower the public's expectations, warning of a core number of homicides resistant to even New York's gargantuan police force.

Low crime rates are more often the stuff of proud news conferences than of intense scrutiny. Yet as street-corner slayings and drug turf drive-bys have melted away, police officials are collecting more data than ever on the remaining few hundred murders, tracking motives, locations, and even the national origin of victims and killers.

A huge endeavor, the new database provides insight into the question of how much lower, in a city of eight million people, the body count can go. It also offers a picture of how the nature of murder in New York City - a post-crack, post-crackdown New York City - has changed, and how anti-violence strategies must change with it.

Some things have not changed: disputes are the most common type of homicide, followed by drug-related slayings. But based on a review of data drawn from multiple agencies, including the Police Department, the Health Department, the Administration for Children's Services and the State Department of Criminal Justice, much has shifted since 1991.

While guns still top the list of murder weapons, there are proportionally fewer gun deaths and far fewer drug-related ones. Street murders are down. Innocent bystanders, once the subject of so many screaming headlines, no longer need Kevlar.

But the most stubborn types of homicide - child abuse, intimate-partner killings and other violence in the home - have increased as a percentage of the total. Gang crimes have given way to rivalries between housing projects. Cocaine and crack dealers have retreated, but violence related to the marijuana trade has persisted and, some experts say, risen, because the market has grown and penalties are lax.

New Yorkers are far less likely to be killed by a stranger or casual acquaintance now than 15 years ago. If you are a foreign-born man, you are also less likely to be a victim, but the percentage of female victims who are foreign-born has gone up markedly. The proportion of victims who are black has increased, with a corresponding decrease in the proportion of Hispanics, while the racial breakdown of perpetrators has stayed roughly the same. Killers are slightly older, with the number of teenage suspects falling and the number aged 30 to 34 rising.

The real challenge is the fewer the deaths, the harder it is to reduce those that remain. New York's homicide rate, 6.9 for every 100,000 people, is already less than that of many far smaller American cities. But some criminologists point to foreign cities like London, with a rate of 2.4, or Amsterdam, at 4.0, as evidence that sizable reductions are possible.

"How low can it go?" said Mr. Kelly, who initiated the database project. "Who knows? Certainly it's our goal, our public policy position, to do everything we can to continue to suppress it. And we're getting more information agencywide that is going to help us do that."

Experts have long debated the causes of New York's startling reduction in crime. While some have argued that socioeconomic forces and shifting demographics - immigrants, for example, are on average less likely to commit crimes - have done most of the work, the police fiercely defend the role of law enforcement strategies like a greater street presence in trouble spots and a focused effort on taking guns off the streets.

But now that the steepest drops in the body count are past, experts agree on one thing: Saving lives now depends on small-bore interventions and ever-greater attention to detail, whether that means handing out tougher sentences for gun possession, meeting with the Mexican consul general to learn more about inroads by gangs who speak the indigenous Mexican language Mixtec, finding jobs for parolees or giving domestic violence victims pendants that let them immediately summon the police.

"It's sort of saying, where are the gaps here?" said John Feinblatt, the criminal justice coordinator for the Bloomberg administration. "Where are things falling through the cracks? Is there something where we're not effectively pulling the thread through from arrest to sentencing? You have to come up with increasingly tailored solutions."

Stubborn Category: Disputes

Luciano Yevenes was a friendly, lonely drunk whose only public transgressions were banging on his neighbors' doors in search of company and sometimes passing out in the hall. He had never been in trouble with the police. He had a dog, Ninos, who enjoyed his own bedroom, with a child's bed. He had a closet stocked with cleaning products in two scents, raspberry and floral. On his door was a picture of Jesus. On his wall was a 2003 calendar from ABC, a friendly neighborhood liquor store.

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Yevenes became No. 563. He was stabbed to death on his kitchen floor, his torso perforated, his throat slit from ear to ear. His hand was thrown over his face as if to ward off further blows.

The mystery in this case is not so much who did it, but why. That day Mr. Yevenes, who sometimes worked as a painter, and his neighbor, Anthony Stanback, 30, were enjoying a couple of midday Colt 45's. Mr. Stanback, who has been arrested on charges that he killed Mr. Yevenes, told detectives that he could not remember what set off his violent rage, the police say. When he finally returned to his family's apartment on Tuesday, he took a kitchen knife and began slicing his own legs. "He just snapped," said Lt. Bernardo Colon, the commander of the 77th Precinct detective squad.

It was the kind of killing that flummoxes the police. It was not hoodlum versus hoodlum. It was not a jealous boyfriend. The small bag of marijuana found on Mr. Yevenes's counter did not make it a drug case. So it goes into the largest category: dispute.

Disputes that end in death can be set off by anything from road rage to a funny look on the dance floor. By Dec. 23, there were 151 homicides in the dispute category, 28 percent of this year's total.

Another 24 percent were considered drug-related, followed by domestic (12 percent), robberies (11), revenge (7), gang-related (6), and on down.

Domestic murders, by the Police Department's definition, include any death that occurs among relatives in the home or between people who have a child in common.

Another category, women killed by current or former intimate partners, is tracked by Dr. Susan Wilt, the assistant commissioner for health promotion and disease prevention at the Health Department. In 1995, the first year such victims were counted, there were 53 - 4.5 percent of the total homicides. In 2000, they reached a low of 23, but now the number is on the rise. In 2003, 34 women were killed by boyfriends, husbands, or other romantic partners. In 2004 there were 41 or 8.5 percent of the total.

For Garry F. McCarthy, the deputy commissioner of operations, who is instrumental in plotting the department's crime-fighting strategy and whose office maintains the new database, domestic homicides are a thorny problem, because there is no clear predictor for which strife-filled relationships will turn fatal. Of the 41 intimate-partner homicides of women this year, 28 of the couples had no previous contact with the police. At least one woman had an order of protection, but let her boyfriend violate it.

As the Police Department strives for more and more specific information, the "dispute" designation has become less and less useful. "I'm thinking of getting rid of that category," Mr. McCarthy said. "By definition, all homicides are disputes."

Others have tackled the same problem. A 1999 study of Brooklyn homicides commissioned by Charles J. Hynes, the borough's district attorney, tried to break disputes into smaller categories: conflicts over property ownership, disputes arising out of illegal business activities, drug or alcohol-fueled disputes, disputes over personal relationships, and disputes that escalate from trivial matters.

The largest category, they found, were long-running feuds, like the one that apparently lay behind the death of Lisa Taylor, 35, early this week. She was shot at the front door of her house in Queens, the police said, by a relative of the 9-year-old boy with whom her 7-year-old daughter had been fighting. Such ongoing fights, the Brooklyn study found, accounted for more than 20 percent of dispute-related killings.

That figure would not surprise detectives, who often say that today's victim is tomorrow's perpetrator. Tracking the cycle of insult and revenge is one objective of the new database, which includes shootings as well as homicides, recording as much information as possible about each incident: primary and secondary motives, aliases, criminal records, even whether the location was ever used as a drug market or gambling den.

The specifics are important: national origin, for example, could reveal something about feuds or family and gang ties. It is more useful to know, Commissioner McCarthy said, that some people involved in a crime are Salvadoran or Dominican than that they are simply Hispanic.

Life, Death and Geography

All crime, like all politics, is local, and to some extent geography is destiny. Luciano Yevenes died in the 77th Precinct, in Crown Heights, in Brooklyn, which has the highest number of homicides of any borough. When his mother appeared, the neighbors told her what had happened, and she fainted on the sidewalk.

The 77th Precinct is one of the hot ones; although the number of homicides there has dropped 82 percent since 2003, it is still in the 10 most dangerous precincts. The 75th Precinct, East New York, is consistently No. 1. Yet others have dropped completely out of sight: the 30th Precinct in Harlem went from 8th in 1993 to 43rd last year, and the 46th Precinct in the Bronx has seen similar improvement.

"You have to look at it precinct by precinct," Commissioner Kelly said when asked about this discrepancy. "Sometimes it's gentrification. Sometimes it's buildings being torn down."

So life, or death, may depend on urban planning. Last year a study commissioned, again, by Mr. Hynes, looked at East Flatbush, which has gone from 10th in homicides to 3rd, and Brownsville, which has gone from 3rd to 15th. The study found that Brownsville's housing projects, and drug markets, were clustered in the center of the precinct, making them easier to police. But in East Flatbush, where violence was more entrenched, the center of the precinct was mostly single-family homes. The rough areas were scattered around the perimeter.

At one time the Vanderveer Estates, a housing project where large drug rings have been dismantled in recent years, was among them. One intersection near the project, Foster and Nostrand, was referred to by residents as the Front Page, because the drug murders that happened there made the news, said Ric Curtis, an anthropologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and one of the study's authors. Another area was called the Back Page, because it was the site of less sensational crimes.

On the surface, it is hard to argue that the death of Mr. Yevenes had anything to do with where he lived. Then again, the man who the police say killed him was an ex-convict. Mr. Stanback had done time in the 1990's for robbery and misdemeanor assault. About 5,000 parolees or former inmates return home to Brooklyn every year. And while only 7 percent of homicide suspects are parolees, almost 68 percent have a previous arrest record.

The Brooklyn district attorney's office has recently expanded a program that gives counseling and jobs to former inmates. "I believe that the key to public safety is recidivism reduction," Mr. Hynes said.

Undoubtedly, alcohol was also a factor in Mr. Yevenes's death. Andrew Karmen, a professor who has spent untold hours studying the factors that affect the homicide rate, from police strategies to demographics to an uptick in the city's education level, combed through autopsy files to see how many homicide victims were drunk or on drugs. He found that in 1997, 39 percent of victims tested positive for alcohol, 17 percent for cocaine, 2 percent for opiates and 21 percent for marijuana. Almost half of all victims had some intoxicant in their bloodstream when they were killed.

Statistics like these suggest the limits of law enforcement in combating violence. "Effective law enforcement can bring down the crime rate to a considerable degree," Dr. Karmen said. "But only by tackling the social roots of crime - poverty, unemployment, failing schools - can a society truly prevent despair and disruption."

But just as law enforcement is telescoping down to the smallest elements of violence, environmental and social measures need not tackle the large questions to be effective. The Brooklyn study found that good management in housing projects helped suppress crime - one replaced the mailboxes and ceiling tiles where dealers liked to stash contraband; another put security cameras and card readers in the laundry room, so residents would not have to use cash.

"The macro changes that we saw - improvements in the economy, changes in demographics, the drop-off in the crack epidemic - all of those have kind of run their course, if you will," Dr. Curtis said. "These further improvements on the local level come from being able to focus on the smaller stuff."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

December 31st, 2004, 03:48 AM
Yes, the tactics need to change in some ways, but what has worked will work more, just not as statistically "impressively." So what? 5% a year for the next 10 sounds good to me. I don't buy that we are at some sort of floor. London, etc. was a great example.

I bet in a few years, as Crown Hts. gentrifies, that will drop from the #1 spot, for sure.

TLOZ Link5
December 31st, 2004, 06:34 PM
London has a HUGE problem with petty crime, though.

alex ballard
January 1st, 2005, 02:00 PM
I beileve the game shifts from tough phyiscal police work to more of a social fix. I beileve NY can go as low as 200 but we'll need to change and add ways to approach this. Domestic violence still wages a toll on the city, in part cue to the fact that in many immigrant cultures, women do not have equal status. I think one way to drop crime is reaching out to immigrant communites to combat family and spouse violence. The same should be done in poor areas as well. Better counseling services and better community awareness would better help prevent and keep a lookout for family violence. Also, fights are another stubborn social cause of homicide. If we teach the city's kids and young adults early that A) there's no manhood in fighting and B) better ways to resolve a conflict, then we can help quell those homicides. Another part of this is understanding the phsycology of fights and the issues over which they most commonly occur. The gun trade is another big factor in quelling the remaining violence. I think we should have better investgations and tracking of the gun trade. If we can get into these rings and find out how, when and where they're doing this, then we can blow up the gun trade from the inside out. These are some of the ways the city should think about dealing with the remaining core of homicides.

January 31st, 2005, 12:31 AM
January 31, 2005

Subway Crime Rose Slightly in 2004, Police Data Shows


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/c.gifrime in the New York City subways rose slightly last year after six consecutive years of decline, according to police statistics.

The police recorded 3,286 major felonies in the subways in 2004, a 2.1 percent increase over the 3,218 that occurred in 2003. Even so, the number of major crimes has fallen by nearly half since 1997.

Assaults and thefts accounted for most of the increase. The police are concentrating on pickpockets around MetroCard vending machines and creating a citywide task force to address fights and assaults by teenagers in the subway system, particularly on weekdays after students leave school, a police official said.

About 100 of the 2,100 transit police officers will comprise the task force, according to the official, Assistant Chief Henry R. Cronin III, commander of the city's Transit Bureau. At various times, the task force might have 30 to 50 officers "saturating a line," riding the cars and focusing on crucial stations, Chief Cronin said.

The small increase in crime occurred during a year when a string of violent episodes attracted broad public attention.

On June 1, an actress was shot in the shoulder as her train approached Times Square. On June 20, an officer chased a robbery suspect onto subway tracks in TriBeCa and fatally shot the suspect after he turned on another officer. Two days later, a gunman shot a passenger to death on a half-full subway car in Chelsea.

On June 28, a man opened fire on a passenger, but missed, on a subway platform in the Financial District. On July 1, a 23-year-old man was seriously injured in a shooting on an elevated subway platform in Queens.

The statistics show that there were three homicides last year, one fewer than in 2003. There were 281 assaults, 24 more than in the previous year.

The Police Department has been responsible for patrolling the subways since 1995, when separate transit and public housing police forces were merged with the larger department.

The figures suggest that the police have maintained a vigorous effort against subway crime. Last year, the transit police made 27,303 arrests, a 38.7 percent increase from 2002.

On another measure, the number of people ejected from the subway system, usually for violating rules or for fare evasion, increased 30.4 percent last year, to 92,028, from 70,565 in 2003. In 2002, there were 102,408 ejections.

Paul J. Browne, a police spokesman, said the 2003 figure appeared to be unusually low. "It may reflect a dip in attempted fare evasion and other illegal activity after a high number of ejections, but there are too many variables to say for certain," Mr. Browne said. "One thing is certain: Enforcement is constant."

Many of those ejected from the subway are homeless adults with serious mental illness or substance abuse problems, according to Muzzy Rosenblatt, directory of the Bowery Residents' Committee, an organization that recently received a contract from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to do outreach for the homeless.

The issue of the homeless in the subway system received attention last week when transit officials said initially that a homeless person might have inadvertently caused the Jan. 23 fire that destroyed a signal relay room in Lower Manhattan and paralyzed service on the A and C subway lines. Police and fire officials later said it was too early to determine who set the fire.

Mr. Browne said that the number of homeless people living in the subway system has sharply declined over the last 20 years. "We are making contact with the homeless daily and either bringing them to shelters or arresting them," he said.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

February 28th, 2005, 08:31 AM
The Crime Rate: How Low Can It Go? (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/issueoftheweek/20050228/200/1335)

March 14th, 2005, 07:56 AM
March 14, 2005

New York, No Longer a Crime Capital, Is Still Playing One on TV

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/i.giff it ever really was, New York is no longer the nation's crime capital, but it remains the capital of television crime shows. So while crime still pays, maybe it pays better, as with fine antiques and wine, to invest in the vintage years.

That's the betting behind an hourlong NBC pilot, conceived by Sonny Grosso, the cop-turned-producer, which wraps up three weeks of filming on location in New York this week. The crime drama's working title, "NY70," invokes a tumultuous decade when crime, racial tension and political conflict consumed the city. The series is to be loosely based on "The French Connection" heroin smuggling case, which Mr. Grosso and his partner Eddie (Popeye) Egan cracked and which was the basis for the 1971 film that won five Oscars.

"I'm here today because of that case," Mr. Grosso said last week, sipping coffee in the Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown, where a scene was being filmed in the presidential suite.

"The city is way better, cleaner, less crime," he said. "Crime is down so much now that we have to go back to the 70's."

The first episode begins familiarly enough with Bobby Cannavale, playing Mr. Grosso, driving through Harlem as a radio newscaster delivers contemporary headlines about an unpopular foreign war and protests against the president.

"It sounds exactly like 2005," Mr. Grosso said. "You would swear we were talking about right now."

But then the camera pans to reveal a 1970's streetscape, complete with a French Connection chase: an undercover cop in a Santa Claus suit is pursuing a drug dealer up the stairs to an elevated subway station.

"Just think how smart you can be writing lines when you know what's going to happen in the next 30 years," Mr. Grosso said.

Another echo of the bad old days of the 60's and 70's, the Knapp Commission on police corruption, which also figures in Mr. Grosso's show, reverberated last week in the federal indictment of two retired New York City police detectives, onetime partners, who were charged with taking part in eight murders on behalf of the Mafia - most while one or both were members of the force.

One of the detectives, Louis Eppolito, was a co-writer of a book about being a police officer with relatives in the mob. Mr. Grosso considered adapting the book for a television show, but recalled, "at the time it didn't fit." No doubt, the story of Mr. Eppolito and the other detective, Stephen Caracappa, will now find its way to the screen. "It would be a hell of a show, but not something I would want to do," Mr. Grosso said. "All my life I have dealt with the positive nature of police shows. There are people who deal with the negative. Not me."

Mr. Grosso was on the police force from 1954 until 1976, when he retired as a first-grade detective, became an actor, film consultant and writer and formed a production company with Larry Jacobson, a television veteran.

"We've been together so long that if I had killed him 25 years ago, I'd be out on good behavior by now," Mr. Grosso said.

He walks with a cane these days, to favor a bad hip, and also carries a .38 Colt revolver, the very same gun that was taped to the back of a toilet and fired by Al Pacino in a mob killing during the filming of "The Godfather." Mr. Grosso was an adviser on that film and also acted in it, as a detective.

There was gunfire, too, on a night just before Christmas 2003, when a patron at Rao's, the tiny Italian restaurant on Pleasant Avenue in East Harlem, who objected to the singing of one of Mr. Grosso's dinner guests that night, was shot dead by another customer. The restaurant is around the corner from the house in which Mr. Grosso grew up.

That Mr. Grosso and his partners are filming their entire show on location reflects another benchmark in the city's revival. He produced hundreds of hours of television crime shows over two decades that supposedly take place in New York but were really shot in Canada, but now, he says, production costs here have become more competitive and the locations, in many cases, mirror the sites of the French Connection case itself or the film.

"New York becomes another character in the show," Mr. Grosso said. "The locations talk to you. You go to the right places in New York, they still look a lot like the 70's. You give people a few Afros, park a couple of cars, but the buildings are the same."

"Hey, I'm still wearing clothes from the 70's," Mr. Grosso said.

The show is being developed for NBC Universal and is to be broadcast in the fall. It stars Donnie Wahlberg as the Popeye Doyle character based on Mr. Egan, who died in 1995, and Tony Lo Bianco, who also starred in "The French Connection," as a congressman modeled on one of Mr. Grosso's friends, former Representative Mario Biaggi of the Bronx. Rand Ravich wrote the pilot for the series, whose first year is to climax with the largest seizure ever of pure heroin.

In an interview, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly welcomed the possibility that declining crime in New York was prompting television writers and producers to mine the past for material.

"The environment was so different for cops in those days, the danger was much greater," he recalled. "Every job you went to was a possible ambush."

Commissioner Kelly, who was a sergeant in East Harlem then, crossed paths with Mr. Grosso in 1972 at the Black Muslim mosque where an officer was shot after police responded to a call.

Edward Conlon, a police officer and author of "Blue Blood," also recalled the crime rate from the early 1970's: "Crime - both street crime and organized crime - were rampant, and seemingly intractable problems. You also had the battle within, as the Knapp Commission was tearing up the department. For many cops, it felt like their guns were being taken away to be repaired while they were left in a free-fire zone, and for cops like Sonny, they didn't think their guns needed fixing."

Mr. Grosso said, "It was a war then, and you had to act differently." Recalling the level of heroin use then, he said: "The junk epidemic was bursting out of Harlem. That's why Eddie acted crazier than the people we were chasing. He had one philosophy: 'It's our job to put the bad guys in jail; don't worry about the prosecutors and the judges.' He was a madman, but he made sure I got home every night."

"Those days, we were just allowed to be cops," Mr. Grosso said. "We're in a different world now, so of course cops have to be different."

Mr. Kelly said that while "there's a whole new set of concerns today with terrorism, in terms of the conventional crime threat it's been significantly reduced."

"New Yorkers have become less tolerant of crime," he said, "but they also have become more blasé about the fact that it goes down, and goes down every year. It's old news."

The television industry isn't worried. "N.Y.P.D. Blue" ended its 12-year run earlier this month, but there has been no shortage of New York crime shows.

"Just because crime has gone down doesn't mean people have lost interest in crime shows," Rene Balcer, producer of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," said in an interview. "Crime shows have traditionally come after great crime waves. With fear of terrorism, crime shows, cops shows, have a reassuring aspect to them."

Neal Baer, executive producer of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," said: "Our show is not so much about the danger of the city, but about the psychology of victims and perps. We don't portray New York as a not very welcoming place."

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

March 14th, 2005, 02:07 PM
A new crime show based in New York is "Blind Justice". I HIGHLY rec. this show, I love it. It airs on Tuesdays at 10 P.M.

TLOZ Link5
March 24th, 2005, 09:05 PM
NY Daily News

New low for murder?

New Yorkers cheered going below 1,000 - now 500 beckons

Jack Newfield, the hometown journalistic legend who died in December, once said that if the city's yearly murder tally fell below 600 the mayor should give the Police Department "a ticker-tape parade up Broadway."

What would he have said if the police were able to bring that number below 500?

It's a question worth asking, given that murders have already plummeted 17% through March 6 of this year compared with this time last year. If the trend persists, the city will see its first sub-500 year in murders since 1963, when New York began keeping accurate homicide records.

Not to jinx things, but the achievement would be akin to breaking the sound barrier.

Piercing 500 would be all the more remarkable for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly considering that the NYPD head count is down 4,500 officers compared with 2000 and police union contract talks have been deadlocked for a year.

Of course, the year is still young, and crime rates are at their core unpredictable. One Son of Sam or a deranged skinhead with an AK-47 could send the murder rate skyward. But the numbers are compelling nonetheless.

The city ended 2004 with 570 murders. If this year's rate continues at 17% below that, the city would close out 2005 with 473 murders - a stunning triumph for Kelly and his corps.

It was only nine years ago - 1996 - that the NYPD made the front pages from London to L.A. by wrestling murders below 1,000, to 983, from the stratospheric sum of 2,245 in 1990. Rudy Giuliani's tenure in City Hall saw murders nosedive to 649 annually when he left office in 2001.

When Mike Bloomberg stepped in, most New Yorkers would have been happy just to see crime stats hold steady. Is there anyone in this delightfully cynical town who would have wagered that the billionaire and his police chief might actually drive that stat down another 25%?

Chalk that up to Kelly's obsession with numbers. He created a "homicide database" that tells him everything from whether a murder was gang-related to whether the victim and perp knew each other.

"We'll soon know how many hairs are on the victim's head," quipped an insider.

All that data then gets translated into action, with hundreds of cops assigned to any area that shows a hike in murders.

The implications of breaking the 500 barrier would be enormous. Low crime opens once-brutal, forbidding places like the South Bronx and central Brooklyn. It lifts home values, a pocketbook issue that tends to animate voters. It's the backbone of this city's quality of life.

No doubt Bloomberg will run through $100 million or so drilling his and Kelly's irrefutable achievements into your noggin as he vies for another term. And he has every right to do so.

But for all that to fall into place, Kelly has to keep a lid on things. A good bet given how he has taken police reporting to a new level.

"We once were in the business of responding to crime," he said. "Today, our business is crime prevention."

It's that kind of attitude that will take a city's murder rate below 500.

[/b]Originally published on March 24, 2005[/b]

March 25th, 2005, 11:36 AM
I have a friend who was murdered in December. He was killed in his home at 6PM. He was a public school teacher and had no criminal record. The police have alternately claimed to have photos of the killer(s) and no leads.

I'm glad to see that murder is down, but Mr. Kelly's obsession with numbers over lives leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

June 1st, 2005, 11:52 AM


June 1, 2005 -- Crime in the city continues to drop — new figures out this week show that it's down 6 percent so far this year.

"We're getting the job done," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said during a budget hearing at the City Council yesterday.

Murders are down 16 percent compared with the first five months of last year.

Rape is down 8.8 percent, and bank robberies have plummeted a whopping 46 percent.

Kelly said the NYPD has made 3,200 DWI arrests, 20 percent more than in the same period last year.

As a result, he said, DWI-related accidents have dropped 13 percent and DWI-related deaths have plunged 25 percent.

Earlier this year, Kelly identified 18 areas in the city where crime had spiked, and focused resources on those areas, called "impact zones."

The result is a 24 percent reduction in crime in those neighborhoods so far this year.

Shootings there have fallen 13 percent.

Kelly also said he's going forward with the plan — first reported in The Post — to install 400 surveillance cameras across the city, adding, "I think it will help us further reduce crime."

He estimated that the cameras would cost about $20,000 each.

"We're looking for the federal government to help us," he said.

There are already 3,100 surveillance cameras at city housing projects.

"It's proven to be an effective tool," Kelly said.

The commissioner also said this is the first year the NYPD academy's graduating class had more minorities than whites: 55 percent to 45 percent.

Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

June 1st, 2005, 11:56 AM


June 1, 2005 -- An audience of cops can now view replays of crimes committed on select Brooklyn subway stations.

The MTA has completed a $1.2 million project to install 120 high-tech video cameras at nine stations on the N, F and D lines in Borough Park, Midwood, Kensington and Flatbush.

Word of the anti-crime initiative comes in the wake of the disclosure Monday in The Post that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly wants to set up 400 such cameras on high-crime streets.

Like the street cameras, the ones in the subway subway will not be monitored 24-7, but will record the action for later viewing.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who secured state funding for the video equipment, said, "We know trains have been targeted by terrorists, and we must keep the millions who ride the subways every day safe from criminals and terrorists."

Civil-liberties groups say the cameras violate privacy while doing little to cut crime. Hikind said he'd like to see the entire transit system wired with video cameras.

NYC Transit yesterday declined to comment.

The nine stations are outfitted with anywhere from 10 to 18 cameras, monitors, digital video recorders and a video switcher.

Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

June 1st, 2005, 11:57 AM
All of these cameras, does this starts to sound like BIG BROTHER to you?

TLOZ Link5
June 3rd, 2005, 05:34 PM
All of these cameras, does this starts to sound like BIG BROTHER to you?

Not really. If they're in places that are by definition and tradition public, then I'd have no problem with a camera there. But in my opinion, nothing beats the presence of a real person.

Now, if the Ministry of Love wanted to put a telescreen in my bathroom...

TLOZ Link5
June 24th, 2005, 04:37 PM

PR- 217-05
June 6, 2005


New York Drop in Crime Outpaced National Trend in Virtually Every Crime Category in 2004

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced that the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Reports for 2004 ranks New York City even lower in overall crime than in 2003. According to the FBI report, the City experienced a 4% drop in overall crime – more than twice the national average drop of 1.8%. Moreover, New York City ranked 221st out of 240 cities across the nation on the total crime index; in 2003, the City ranked 211th out of 230. In 2004, violent crime decreased 6.3% in New York, more than three times the national decline of 1.7%, and New York’s 3.2% decline in property crime exceeded the national decrease of 1.8%. From 2001 to 2004, overall crime in New York City declined 14%, seven times the national decrease of 2% during that period.
“In 2004, the safest big city in America got even safer,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “From fighting graffiti and quality-of-life offenses to preventing the most violent crimes, we have been able to make New York the safest it’s been in decades. 2004 was the 3rd straight year with fewer than 600 homicides and the fewest homicides since 1963. I would like to thank the men and women of the Police Department for their hard work and dedication to keeping our streets safe.”

“The men and women of the NYPD have proven their mettle time and again, driving crime down to what some thought were impossibly low levels,” said Commissioner Kelly.

The City’s murder rate of 7 per 100,000 of population in 2004 was half that of Los Angeles and Chicago which were 13.5 and 15.5 respectively. The murder rate in Philadelphia was three times higher at 22.1. Detroit was seven times higher at 41.5. Over the past four years, the murder rate in New York City declined 12% (2004 compared to 2001) compared to a national decline of only 0.5% during the same period.

In virtually every crime category, New York City’s decline outpaced the national trend in 2004. Murder was down 4.5% compared to 3.6% nationally; rape was down 11.2% compared to a 0.3% decline nationally. Robbery was down 6.2 % compared to approximately half that at 3.6% nationally. Aggravated assault declined 6.2% and only 0.8% nationally. Burglary was down 7.8% and down 1.4% nationally. Motor vehicle theft dropped 10.8% compared to 2.6% nationally.

The FBI’s total crime index ranks cities of 100,000 people or more by the number of crimes per 100,000 people. For 2004, the total crime index in New York City was 2801.6 crimes per 100,000 people. Of the 240 cities with populations of 100,000 or more reporting to the FBI, NYC ranked 221 in total index crime, between San Jose CA and Torrance CA. Out of the nation’s 10 largest cities, New York City ranked 10th with the fewest overall crimes on the total crime index, and had the steepest drop of any of the 10 largest cities. Out of the nation’s 25 largest cities, New York ranked 25th, an improvement of its position of 24th of 25 in 2003.

The following chart shows where New York City ranked in the total crime index for the nation’s 10 largest cities.

Year End 2004 City Rate
1 Dallas 8959.7
2 Detroit 7903.7
3 Phoenix 7402.3
4 San Antonio 7346.8
5 Houston 7194.8
6 Las Vegas 5838.0
7 Philadelphia 5470.5
8 Los Angeles 4376.0
9 San Diego 4102.7
10 New York 2801.6

“In 2005, we are on track to improve on what we accomplished last year. Overall crime is down another 6% and is down almost 20% from four years ago. Murder is down 15% this year and 28% from four years ago. We aren’t going to rest on our laurels for even a moment; we are going to keep making the safest big city even safer,” Mayor Bloomberg concluded.

TLOZ Link5
June 27th, 2005, 02:44 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Murder rate may
plunge below 500

Monday, June 27th, 2005

The city is on pace to log fewer than 500 murders this year - which would be the lowest since 1961 and mark a huge achievement for the NYPD, statistics show.

When a record 2,245 people were killed in 1990, it seemed impossible for most New Yorkers to imagine even getting the depressing tally below 1,000.

And in recent years - following the city's heralded decade-plus crime slide - the number 600 was held up by City Hall and the NYPD as the new standard for the nation's safest big city.

Slashing the murder count to below 500 has not been discussed publicly, but it now appears to be a possibility. The number of slayings across the city has fallen nearly 17% - to 215 from 259 - so far this year, NYPD data through June 19 show. If the trend holds, there will be 465 slayings in 2005.

"By quickly addressing any spike in crime or change in quality-of-life conditions, we've been able to continue to drive crime down," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Daily News. "In short, good policing work by great police officers."

Overall, crime has dropped 4.9% across the city this year, with every major category - except robberies - marking a decrease, according to NYPD data.

"The question is, How low can you go?" said Thomas Reppetto, president of the Citizens Crime Commission. "Crime hasn't inched back up, as many predicted. So it seems possible that the city can break 500 murders this year."

There were 570 murders in 2004.

The last time there were fewer than 500 murders was the 482 murders recorded in 1961 - when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record and it cost 15 cents to ride the subway.

But in 1962, the murder count jumped to 548, Reppetto noted.

Police officials credit much of this year's decrease to their Operation Impact initiative, which floods high-crime zones with cops, many of them rookies.

Kelly also divided the city's most crime-filled area, the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn, into three patrol zones and added more cops. The move seems to have worked, with the area recording a 16% crime drop.

"Whatever they are doing is making a difference," said Elmae Reynolds, 51, of East New York, Brooklyn. "You don't have to walk around kids dealing on the corners so much. They are getting pushed out."

A recent jump in shootings in the Bronx and Brooklyn North precincts led the NYPD to move 250 cops from other posts to better safeguard those areas.

Nonviolent crime also has declined so far this year, according to statistics through June 19.

Grand larceny, the only crime to rise in 2004, decreased .5%, a decline attributed in part to a crackdown on credit card thieves. Investigators even staked out gas stations, where crime rings had been using the stolen plastic.

Not everyone believes the current crime data are trustworthy. Police union bosses have charged that NYPD brass pressures cops to fudge the data - a claim the department has called ridiculous.

(c) Copyright The New York Daily News, 2005

TLOZ Link5
October 6th, 2005, 02:28 PM
New York Times

October 5, 2005
New York's Falling Crime Rate Is a Potent Weapon for the Mayor

New York City's police force has fewer officers, less money and more work than it did four years ago. Yet, by almost any measure, the city is safer today than it was before Michael R. Bloomberg became mayor in January 2002.

If that sounds like grist for a campaign commercial, it is. Public safety has emerged as Mr. Bloomberg's not-so-secret weapon as he goes about pressing his case for re-election.

Mr. Bloomberg aggressively wields statistics showing that he not only continued the efforts of Rudolph W. Giuliani, who made crime-fighting a signature issue, but also did so while putting 1,000 officers on antiterrorism duty and avoiding the racial tensions that bedeviled his predecessor. Crime citywide has decreased 20 percent since 2001, outpacing the decline in the nation as a whole, according to F.B.I. data, and polls show widespread support for the mayor's public safety policies.

"We are," Mr. Bloomberg said in a campaign speech in Brooklyn last week, "the safest big city in America."

For New York mayors seeking re-election, crime can be a decisive issue. David N. Dinkins lost re-election to Mr. Giuliani as the city was struggling to cope with the murderous legacy of the crack epidemic. Mr. Giuliani, in turn, easily won a second term in 1997 on the basis of a sharp drop in crime.

But when Mr. Bloomberg took office, there were serious doubts about whether the lower crime rates of the Giuliani years could be maintained, much less improved upon. With New Yorkers still digging out from the rubble of ground zero, a Police Department consumed with preventing another attack and falling crime rates starting to level off, the new mayor seemed unlikely to run very far with the crime-buster's torch passed to him by Mr. Giuliani. What is more, Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman with no previous political experience, had to contend with a projected $6 billion budget deficit.

By proving the skeptics wrong, Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, largely defused a potential campaign issue this year for his Democratic opponent, Fernando Ferrer. Mr. Ferrer's comments on public safety issues have tended to be limited, and focused on mass transit, where he accuses the mayor of not doing enough to prevent a terrorist attack.

In fact, it is the administration's recent attempt to improve subway security, by conducting random bag searches, that has highlighted what some say is a blot on Mr. Bloomberg's record: his contentious relationship with civil liberties advocates, who argue that the police have trampled on privacy and free speech when patrolling for terrorists and confronting political protesters.

There have also been complaints of heavy-handedness by new "safety agents" assigned to city schools. And for all of the mayor's efforts to take credit for the decline in crime, there are criminologists who argue that shifting demographics and other societal factors, rather than policing strategies, are driving the crime rate down.

But even those skeptics are impressed that the decrease has progressed faster in New York than in other cities. Andrew Karmen, a sociology professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who wrote a book on the city's declining homicide rate, said an independent commission of experts should search for answers to New York's success.

"This issue of why crime is down so much in New York City is really too important to leave to the politicians, who will always claim credit for it," Dr. Karmen said. "What has happened here is really quite remarkable."

New Priorities

In 1993, the year before Mr. Giuliani took office, there were 1,946 murders in New York. By the time he left City Hall at the end of 2001, that number had dropped to 714.

It was an incredible feat, and one that loomed especially large for Mr. Bloomberg as he began trying to move out from under Mr. Giuliani's long shadow and make his own mark on public safety.

He began by choosing as his police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, who had already held the job from 1992 to 1994 and later ran the United States Treasury Department's law enforcement agencies. Aides to Mr. Bloomberg said the mayor was motivated, in part, by the belief that Mr. Kelly's federal government experience could be useful in shaping the city's nascent counterterrorism strategy - an all-consuming priority for the new administration.

Mr. Kelly hired a former Central Intelligence Agency official to run the Police Department's own intelligence bureau, which began stationing detectives in hot spots around the world to collect information on potential threats to New York.

The Police Department was forced to divert substantial resources to antiterrorism, assigning about 1,000 officers, at a cost of $900,000 a week in overtime pay, to protect major landmarks and transportation hubs. By 2004, the annual cost of the counterterrorism effort was $164 million, but because of budget cuts the total department budget had slipped to $3.58 billion from $3.7 billion in 2001, and the number of officers to 37,000 from 40,000.

Mr. Kelly said in an interview that the counterterrorism strategy worked, and he cited several examples of thwarted plots, including planned bombings of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Herald Square subway station. He also said the use of heavily armed "Hercules teams," who show up randomly around the city in public displays of strength, had been a deterrent.

"How do you measure success?" Mr. Kelly said, referring to the counterterrorism effort. "If nothing happens, we're successful to that extent. But there are three cases, at least that we're aware of, where it seems that things we were doing here acted as a deterrent or we took them into custody."

But all the attention to terrorism has threatened to divert resources from the department's central crime-fighting mission. Summonses for quality-of-life infractions, such as those involving noise or trash, dropped to 444,000 in the fiscal that ended in 2002 from 526,000 in the previous year prompting concern by the administration that enforcement on such offenses was slipping.

Conventional wisdom also dictated that after nearly a decade of declining crime rates, the city must soon encounter a core of crime resistant to law enforcement efforts. John Feinblatt, the mayor's criminal justice coordinator, said that reducing crime further would demand "another level of work, another level of analysis and another level of creativity."

Police Strategies

Mr. Bloomberg, who made his fortune developing new methods of delivering large amounts of data to financial professionals, is nothing if not a technocrat. And his appreciation of computer analysis meshed well with the Police Department's preoccupation with statistics.

The department under Mr. Giuliani created Compstat, which, as originally conceived, allowed precinct commanders to track and respond to major crime trends. The system was credited with helping drive down crime and was widely replicated in other cities.

The Bloomberg administration decided not only to expand Compstat's data collection to include such things as misdemeanors, police overtime and abuse complaints, but also to use the information in different ways. No longer was the department simply mapping crime; now it was also analyzing the data to pinpoint the people responsible for a disproportionate share of offenses in specific neighborhoods, Mr. Feinblatt said.

"What resulted was "Operation Spotlight," which looks for people with three or more arrests in the preceding 12 months and flags them once they re-enter the court system, often resulting in longer jail sentences. Mr. Kelly also started "Operation Impact" to identify high-crime zones, sometimes as small as a few blocks or inside a specific school, and to flood those areas with police officers, who have made more than 20,000 arrests and issued 335,000 summonses in the zones.

The resulting drop in crimes would seem to indicate that the extra police presence worked: Last year, major felonies declined 26 percent in the high-crime zones, compared with 5 percent citywide. Murders in New York continued to drop during Mr. Bloomberg's tenure, , totaling 572 in 2004.

Technology was brought to bear in other ways. Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, recalled sitting down in 2001 with Mr. Bloomberg, then a candidate, and being asked what initiatives he would like to see. He told Mr. Bloomberg there should be a way to get tapes of 911 calls from domestic violence cases into the courtroom more quickly for judges to consider when setting bail for a suspect.

"The thought was, if we could digitalize the calls, and get them to the judges so they could hear the screams at the arraignment, it would be very effective," Mr. Hynes said. "He thought it was a wonderful idea, and six months after he was elected it was in place."

The city also started using DNA evidence to obtain indictments against yet-to-be-identified rape suspects, before the statute of limitations on the crimes expire. Most recently, Mr. Kelly created a "real-time crime center" designed to quickly get information on potential suspects into the hands of detectives or officers responding to a crime scene.To be sure, not all public safety indicators have been moving in the right direction.

Grand larceny cases are up, which the Police Department says is caused in part by a nationwide increase in identify theft. Although crime in the subways is down compared with four years ago, thefts of iPods and other portable music players contributed to a 5 percent increase in felonies in the transit system last year.

In addition, while fire-related deaths have declined, average Fire Department response times to building fires have inched upward to 4 minutes 31 seconds this year, from 4 minutes 16 seconds in 2001. The firefighters' union has complained that budget cuts stretched the department's response capabilities too thin.

Community Relations

Early one morning in January 2004, a police officer climbing a stairwell to a Brooklyn rooftop was startled when a door opened suddenly, and he shot and killed Timothy Stansbury, the unarmed black man who opened it. The death of Mr. Stansbury, 19, appeared to set the stage for a repeat of the racially charged collisions between New York's black and Hispanic communities and City Hall that marked the Giuliani era.

Instead, something different happened.

Within 12 hours, Mr. Kelly declared the shooting unjustified, and Mr. Bloomberg was on his way to visit the victim's family. Although the commissioner was criticized by the police union for too quickly casting judgment, he and the mayor won praise for helping to defuse a potentially divisive incident.

Mr. Bloomberg's reaction to that and other tragedies earned him praise from unexpected sources, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has since endorsed Mr. Ferrer. A Quinnipiac poll released in June found that 53 percent of black voters approved of how the Police Department was doing its job; the same poll in May 2001 found that only 29 percent did.

Even critics who fault aspects of the Bloomberg administration's civil rights record acknowledge that racial tensions have eased.

"When there are bad outcomes, when people die at the hands of the police, you have a different kind of response from this administration than from the Giuliani administration," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Still, there are those who remain unconvinced. City Councilman Charles Barron, a Democrat from Brooklyn who has yet to endorse a mayoral candidate in the general election, called Mr. Bloomberg "a kinder, gentler Giuliani" who he said has ignored the economic causes of crime in poor neighborhoods. He was not impressed by the mayor's attempts to reach out to families of victims of police mistakes.

"I give him absolutely no credit for doing what a mayor is supposed to do, which is to go to the funeral and apologize," Mr. Barron said. "What's happened is that Giuliani was so horrible, what should be an ordinary response has come to be viewed as extraordinary."

Accusations of police misconduct filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board have risen, although the percentage of those upheld after an investigation is about the same as it was in 2002. Some of the rise in complaints stems from the wave of arrests outside the Republican National Convention in 2004, which resulted in accusations that police mistreated protesters. Of 1,806 people arrested, only about 13 percent were convicted or pleaded guilty as of August.

Ms. Lieberman said the police tactics, including random bag searches in train stations that began after the London subway bombings in July, were examples of "vague concerns about terrorism being invoked to justify a massive and disastrous encroachment on our civil liberties."

"The Police Department has adopted a suspicious attitude toward lawful political protest in the name of national security," she said. "They treat demonstrations as if every one was a criminal encounter, rather than an expression of America at its best."

Debate on Causes

New York's declining crime rate has outpaced the rest of the country's. But because the nationwide drop in major crimes such as homicides is so widespread, some criminologists argue that no politician or police department can credibly lay claim to single-handedly beating back crime in their city.

"I've always been a little reluctant to give too much credit to the police," said Jeffrey A. Fagan, a professor of law and public health at Columbia University who has studied crime trends.

Still, Dr. Fagan said that New York police "are using a very strategic approach to crime control. It's problem-oriented policing, and they are pursuing it in a very intelligent way."

Academic experts cite several plausible contributors to the nationwide trend, including an aging population (young men are responsible for most crimes), the end of the crack cocaine epidemic, , an improving economy and rising rates of homeownership in urban areas. Mr. Kelly himself acknowledges that "shifting drug use patterns" probably is a factor.

"Crack hit New York City like a tidal wave around 1985," he said. "I remember I was a precinct commander and we were stepping on vials - we didn't even know what it was then - but homicides went up 60 percent from 1985 to 1990."

But Mr. Kelly also points to the gains evident in the high-crime zones when officers flood into an area as proof that increased police presence, smartly deployed, works. He pointed to the homicide rate, which, while at its lowest citywide in more than 30 years, declined faster in the impact zones.

For Dr. Karmen of John Jay, who wrote a book called, "New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990's," the jury is still out on the question of who, or what, has made the city so much safer.

"I pretty much concluded that the mystery is unsolved," he said.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


October 6th, 2005, 07:27 PM
Grand Larceny up 4.5%, oh, it nearly stole my breath away.

What the hell are people stealing?

Law & Order
October 6th, 2005, 07:28 PM

October 7th, 2005, 05:36 PM
Grand Larceny up 4.5%, oh, it nearly stole my breath away.

What the hell are people stealing?

You think the Grand Larc numbers are up? Hahahaha, You should see the Petit Larc numbers...

Robberies are up. Way up. Especially in the Bronx and Manhattan North. A big thing now is stealing cell phones. Nextel especially. If not Nextel they steal your phone and cell the sim card on the street, you get unlimited calls until the victim cancels the plan. It works something like that, whatever they do they make money.

In the subways iPods are the easiest targets in the world. The White headphones really stand out. These things get stolen left and right, especially since the iPod Mini came out. The price dropped and a lot of low income people stepped into the iPod market. A lot of iPods that get stolen here in the Bronx are iPod Mini and Shuffle.

Shootings are also up a ton. In the last 7 days, we have had 4 cop related shootouts. One invloved an exchange of over 77 shots fired. More guns are out on the street becuase we no longer have elite anti-gun teams.

# fudgeing, downgrading crimes, "missing" reports. It's out of control in this city. I won't get into it, some of you forumers are a bit overally passionate about NYC, but it's a huge scandel. Some of the downgrading has gotton out of control. Homicides as "investigate D.O.A.". Rapes as "Investigate Aided". Misd don't appear on Compstat, so they exploit this. The crime has to be classified as one of the 7 listed felonies. It's out of control.

October 7th, 2005, 06:12 PM
Any proof of what you say?

A few months ago an officer was suspended in the 50th Precinct (North West Bronx). It was becuase he refused to downgrade a crime from a felony to a misd. He went public with it, but despite efforts, no one gave a shit.

I deleted the other shit I typed, i'll type it again in a few.

October 7th, 2005, 06:15 PM
Shootings are also up a ton. In the last 7 days, we have had 4 cop related shootouts.

I've noticed this in the news...

It seems like every day now there are reports of shootings.

A few were double shootings -- homicide / suicide.

Are a lot of these drug related?

For whatever reason the shootings are happening, the rising numbers seem to show that desperate times are upon us.

TLOZ Link5
October 7th, 2005, 06:19 PM
No doubt that a lot of these numbers are fudged or narrowly defined. But if there really is a grand scheme to dupe New Yorkers into thinking that crime is down by watering down the crime index, the police can't have been carrying it on for fifteen years without anyone noticing.

TLOZ Link5
October 7th, 2005, 06:31 PM
Geez, what is up with this thing? It hasn't been showing my entire message.

October 7th, 2005, 06:41 PM
No doubt that a lot of these numbers are fudged or narrowly defined. But if there really is a grand scheme to dupe New Yorkers into thinking that crime is down by watering down the crime index, the police can't have been carrying it on for fifteen years without anyone noticing.

Real Estate hype, making the mayor look good. People notice, but no one gives a shit. People in the high crime areas have definately noticed. I remember the Washington Heights community bashed Bloomberg over his claims on dropping crime.

I've noticed this in the news...

It seems like every day now there are reports of shootings.

A few were double shootings -- homicide / suicide.

Are a lot of these drug related?

For whatever reason the shootings are happening, the rising numbers seem to show that desperate times are upon us.

Many shootings are drug related. Many are over disputes.

Why are shootings up?

I'll tell you why. In the past we had a unit known as "Street Crime". It was a unit of 100 expert anti-gun officers. They could smell a gun from 2 blocks away...well in reality they had a number of gun collars in their careers. They could tell if a perp was carrying a gun by looking at the way they walk/hold themselves.

Eventually, some dumbass thought "If 100 cops can give us these resualts, imagine what 400 can do". So they added 300 rookies to the unit.

In 1999, Soundview section of the Bronx, Midnight tour. Rookie street crime officers were looking guns. This area has a lot of gun crime. They traveled down Westchester Avenue, make a left in Wheeler, stumbled on Diallo, who happend to look like the most deadly serial rapist in NYC. Responsible for dozens of rapes (70 something?). Who just happend to live in the Soundview community. 4 plain clothed officers jump out. The immigrant is scared and reaches for I.D. The officers open fire, 41 shots, killing him. The area was not well lit, and in the heat of the moment, they mistook the wallet for a gun.

After this, the street crime unit disbanded. Anti-gun patrols were left to precinct patrols. Rookies, nothing as proffesional as the Street Crime Unit.

After 5 years, you see the effects. Guns are more common then they were in the 90s. Shootings are up. More people hit by strays.

You see in the past, you had to be real careful walking around with a gun. You would hide it, in the mailbox in the lobby, roof, stairway. Today the criminals know, they can carry guns on them and don't have to be worried about being tossed.

Instead of getting into a fight and going for their guns, where they can cool down, stopped by a friend, distracted. They carry their guns on them. In a dispute, this equals a shooting victim.

TLOZ Link5
October 7th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Real Estate hype, making the mayor look good. People notice, but no one gives a shit. People in the high crime areas have definately noticed. I remember the Washington Heights community bashed Bloomberg over his claims on dropping crime.

My best friend happens to live in Washington Heights, on Pinehurst Avenue. He hasn't gone out and said that the claims of plummeting crime are an utter fallacy, but he does admit that he feels safer now than he did even a few years ago. I've been to the neighborhood several times, mostly at night (going again tonight), and I like it. When I went into Fort Tryon Park with him one night, there were still a lot of people walking around.

I'm not doubting you, Bx. I know that there are a lot of untruths and half-truths to the news about the drop in crime. But there's no doubt in my mind that the city has generally changed for the better. (On a personal note: weren't you on SkyscraperCity for a while? I like you; it's good that you challenge us.)

Even if shootings can be covered up, murders themselves are hard to "disappear" (death certificates and all), as are GTAs (a report of a stolen vehicle needs to be filed). Assaults, robberies and thefts are very easy to gussy up, no doubts there; perhaps the same can be said with burglaries. And rapes are ridiculously undercounted nationwide anyway. Maybe at the start of 2006 I'll begin a tally of all the murders reported in the news and see how it stacks up compared to the NYPD's statistics.

In any case, however, I'm wondering if maybe it isn't a bad idea to start easing restrictions on private ownership of firearms. I feel fine without a gun, but far be it from me to deny anyone else their right to defend themselves. What does everyone think, or is that a subject better consigned to a separate thread?

TLOZ Link5
October 7th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Are you talking about the forum software?

Yeah, for some reason my whole post never came up, so I had to make it a lot shorter. Might have had something to do with the rain here; who knows.

October 7th, 2005, 08:15 PM
My best friend happens to live in Washington Heights, on Pinehurst Avenue. He hasn't gone out and said that the claims of plummeting crime are an utter fallacy, but he does admit that he feels safer now than he did even a few years ago. I've been to the neighborhood several times, mostly at night (going again tonight), and I like it. When I went into Fort Tryon Park with him one night, there were still a lot of people walking around.

I'm not doubting you, Bx. I know that there are a lot of untruths and half-truths to the news about the drop in crime. But there's no doubt in my mind that the city has generally changed for the better. (On a personal note: weren't you on SkyscraperCity for a while? I like you; it's good that you challenge us.)

Even if shootings can be covered up, murders themselves are hard to "disappear" (death certificates and all), as are GTAs (a report of a stolen vehicle needs to be filed). Assaults, robberies and thefts are very easy to gussy up, no doubts there; perhaps the same can be said with burglaries. And rapes are ridiculously undercounted nationwide anyway. Maybe at the start of 2006 I'll begin a tally of all the murders reported in the news and see how it stacks up compared to the NYPD's statistics.

In any case, however, I'm wondering if maybe it isn't a bad idea to start easing restrictions on private ownership of firearms. I feel fine without a gun, but far be it from me to deny anyone else their right to defend themselves. What does everyone think, or is that a subject better consigned to a separate thread?

I don't know if your friend lived in Washington Heights in the late 80's and early 90's. These were the neighborhoods hardest times, especially in the 160th Streets. Things there haven't changed much.

My cusin grew up in Washington Heights, only Puerto Rican. Never the victim of a crime there. She wasn't a drug dealer, she wasn't a crack head. She would mind her business. School, work, going to a friends house. Never a victim. To her, nothing was different. She would hear gunshots every once and a while, but she still does.

If you mind your business and stay street smart you will never be the victim of a crime. Sadly 1-in-5 New Yorkers are, most people aren't street smart, put themselves in a bad situation, or just have bad luck. These are the people who get mugged, shot, killed.

Statistcally, WH is safer now then it was. The crack epidemic is over and less drug dealers are killing each other. Demand is down, but it's still there. Which is why we contiue to see killings.

However, statistics are ****ed, becuase of downgrading crimes. Washington Heights has seen many more shootings, yet assualts, murders and robberies are down?

Crime is up since 1999. Every year its higher and higher.


It appears crimes like Murders and Rapes are hard to hide and cover up. However it isn't so. To classify a D.O.A. a homicide, the body is taken to the hospital by EMS. The detectives can only declare a homicide after they MEs take a look at it. Well, sometimes this can take a while. Months even before they can decide weather it was a homicide or natural causes. Sometimes it's obvious, bullet to the head. However sometimes its hard. Here is an example.

A few months ago a man fell infront of a train. He was known to suffer from mental illness. They classified it a suicide, becuase he had is watch, money in wallet.

Months later, they discovered he guy had been hit in the head. It turned out someone punched the guy in the head and he fell in front of the train. A homicide.

The numbers on Compstat won't be updated to reflect this. Fooling Compstat is just about hiding numbers.

G.L.A's. They call the precinct all the time looking for stolen vehicle reports. Somehow...we can't find them.

Robberies are downgraded all the time. To Petit Larc. Same with many Burgs.

Assualts are downgraded to Misd assualt 3, when you are shooting someone with a whole clip, it's attempted murder (Ass 1), not un intentional.


Homicides are down though. Why? Becuase we have improved medical techniques. More tramua centers. EMS is very well trained and can save your life. They also respond quicker becuase they patrol the neighborhood.

People are getting shot, 9-10 times and living. I have a good story a Harlem cop told me. This is how it is these days.

In Harlem, some kid comes into the precinct. Gunshot wound to the shoulder. He is rushed to the hospital. They discover two more bullets in the back of his head. He makes it out fine, then identifies the shooter. They interogate the guy, and he confeses.

A week later, kid come back. He was stabbed in the neck. They rush him to the hospital. He identifies the perp, guy confeses. Again kid is fine.

A few weeks pass, kid comes in AGAIN. He was shot about 4 times. They rush him to the hospital, I.D.s the shooter. They bring in a kid, kid denys it. He said he didn't do shit. They decide to cut him loose.

This guy who keeps getting shot and stabbed is a known drug dealer, so they are investigating weather he was just ratting random rival dealers instead of the gus who really did it (That he didn't know who did shoot/stab him).

Point is, people are getting shot a hell of a lot more and living. **** 50 cent, some guy on my block was shot twice to the back of his head, lived. It's very common now.

TLOZ Link5
October 7th, 2005, 08:56 PM
I don't know if your friend lived in Washington Heights in the late 80's and early 90's. These were the neighborhoods hardest times, especially in the 160th Streets. Things there haven't changed much.

Yes, he's 21 and has lived in the neighborhood his whole life.

My cusin grew up in Washington Heights, only Puerto Rican. Never the victim of a crime there. She wasn't a drug dealer, she wasn't a crack head. She would mind her business. School, work, going to a friends house. Never a victim. To her, nothing was different. She would hear gunshots every once and a while, but she still does.

The same goes for my friend. He and his family have done very well for themselves. He's a senior at NYU, his sister's a sophomore at Cornell, his older brother works and his little brother is still in high school. In case you're wondering, they're half Peruvian, quarter Puerto Rican, and quarter Mexican.

If you mind your business and stay street smart you will never be the victim of a crime. Sadly 1-in-5 New Yorkers are, most people aren't street smart, put themselves in a bad situation, or just have bad luck. These are the people who get mugged, shot, killed.

That, of course, goes without saying. Most victims know their attackers and/or have a criminal record. It's the same anywhere, no?

Statistcally, WH is safer now then it was. The crack epidemic is over and less drug dealers are killing each other. Demand is down, but it's still there. Which is why we contiue to see killings.

However, statistics are ****ed, becuase of downgrading crimes. Washington Heights has seen many more shootings, yet assualts, murders and robberies are down?

You said it yourself; improved medical care has saved the lives of shooting victims.

Crime is up since 1999. Every year its higher and higher.

Based on your professional opinion, what percentage of crimes that would otherwise be counted as felonies are actually recorded? Just curious.


It appears crimes like Murders and Rapes are hard to hide and cover up. However it isn't so. To classify a D.O.A. a homicide, the body is taken to the hospital by EMS. The detectives can only declare a homicide after they MEs take a look at it. Well, sometimes this can take a while. Months even before they can decide weather it was a homicide or natural causes. Sometimes it's obvious, bullet to the head.

Yes, but aren't there also cases where someone commits suicide and relatives might report it to the police as a homicide because their religious beliefs find suicide taboo?

However sometimes its hard. Here is an example.

A few months ago a man fell infront of a train. He was known to suffer from mental illness. They classified it a suicide, becuase he had is watch, money in wallet.

Months later, they discovered he guy had been hit in the head. It turned out someone punched the guy in the head and he fell in front of the train. A homicide.

But you must admit that that's a very rare occurrence.

The numbers on Compstat won't be updated to reflect this. Fooling Compstat is just about hiding numbers.

What do you think can be done to correct it?

G.L.A's. They call the precinct all the time looking for stolen vehicle reports. Somehow...we can't find them.

I'll have to grant that because I don't have experience in that field.

Robberies are downgraded all the time. To Petit Larc. Same with many Burgs.

Like I said...

Assualts are downgraded to Misd assualt 3, when you are shooting someone with a whole clip, it's attempted murder (Ass 1), not un intentional.

Are misdemeanor statistics ever collected?

I'll skip the improved medical care part of your response because I already touched on it.

Just out of curiosity, why not publish a book on this? Frank Serpico has made a name for himself as an NYPD gadfly and muckraker. If what you say is true, then the NYPD is in need of another expose.

October 7th, 2005, 09:16 PM
If you are a police officer as you say you are (or at least you tried to get that point across), then I no longer have faith in the NYPD if they have people like you working for them. You have provided ZERO proof as to any of these stories that you tell. I dont even think you live in New York. You talk about all of these things that have happend, and why criminals do what they do, but the only explanation for what you say would be that you are a criminal yourself, or you are just stating plain old common sense. Posting a random article about a person getting assaulted is not proof. If I said there were 3000 murders in Harlem alone last year, and then posted some article about a person getting killed in Hunts Point, there is a huge ass difference. You are one of the few forum members here that I can not profile BxOne. For that I owe you a congradulations. I cannot figure out if you are - actually a person that does slum work for the police department and therefore you decide to concider yourself part of it and refer to you and them as 'we', and after working you come home for no reason and go to New York forums after a hard days work and only contribute by saying when where (often filling in question marks and unknown buildings in replace of the actual building) why people got shot, - Or, you are simply someone who had a bad experience in New York while visiting and you feel the need to say what is wrong with the city when given a chance, as you are trying to get more people to hate the city. - Or if you have a different story. Maybe you live in Los Angeles or Boston (That wasnt a question). Theres typos in there somewhere, Im not going back to look for them.


Is something wrong with you, that you can't accept a little reality. Things are not always as they seem. It makes sense to downgrade crime. Why? to boost real estate value. How else will you get housing up across the street from housing projects. To make the mayor look good, a mayor with the media in his back pocket. The two stories I presented are true. The first one Happend at the Whitlock Avenue train station along the 6 line in the Bronx. It happend a few months ago. The second story happend in Harlem at the 28th precinct, a year ago.

NYC is much improved. Not becuase of Guliani and especially not Bloomberg. NYC is a better city becuase of the people who live in this city. Ed Kotch is the guy who HELPED changed this city, if there was no Ed Kotch, the Bronx would still be in a 70's state. You relize most of the housing in the Bronx is public housing. Low income housing, many which went up in the 70's and 80's. After Robert Moses put up a ton in the 50's and 60's. Same can be said for East NY and Brownsvile.

Crime in NYC dropped until 98'. It slowly began to rise after that. A natural upward wave in crime. Then in 00' it suddenly spiked down. For absolutely no reason. An increase in downgrading thanks to Ray Kelly. He backs the mayor 100%, the guy guarentees his job.

People in NYC are poorer now then they were in the past. There are more poor as well. Incarceration rates are higher now then ever. More guns on the streets, more robberies, more crime. It is a scandel, a scandel that the next mayor will have to suffer from. The next guy will be blamed for destroying our city. it won't be until then people start to realize whats going on. Right now the problems are being felt only in low income communities. Like how the Mott Haven section of the Bronx had a 50% increase in gunshot victims this year. When people in White neighborhoods start gettin robbed more often, then people will notice there is a problem.

Compstat has existed for decades under another name, Pin Mapping. This technique has existed for decades.

Heres another one. You do realize NYPD uses quotas right??? Even though they are against the law.


Police Decide Subway Death Wasn't Suicide.

(New York-WABC, August 26, 2005) - A murder mystery on the subway. Cops found the body of a 66 -year- old man underneath a Number 6 train in Crotona Park back in May. What at first appeared to be a suicide police now say is a homicide. Eyewitness News reporter Joe Torres spoke to the victim's family and has more from the Bronx.

The family of Enrique Soriano says they knew it all along, that his death was not a suicide. Now police say they were right.
Thursday, after careful analysis of toxicology reports and the victim's body, the medical examiner said the injuries to the man's hands and head were not consistent with a suicide. So now police are looking for a killer. Luis Soriano, Victim's Son: "I really don't think anybody would want to hurt him. He didn't start trouble with anybody. He wasn't a person who was in the streets starting problems. He was from work to home and that's about it."
//http://a248.e.akamai.net/7/800/1129/0/oascentral-s.realmedia.com/RealMedia/ads/Creatives/default/empty.gif (http://oascentral.abclocal.go.com/RealMedia/ads/click_lx.ads/WABC/NEWS/3385476/1480827077/Middle1/default/empty.gif/34353736333136333433343731623430?)

Police flyers asking for the public's help are now posted throughout the Whitlock Avenue subway station where Soriano died. And on one flyer there is a response. It says, 'I never saw this sign in May.'
On his way to work as a baggage handler at LaGuardia Airport, Enrique Soriano would call home from the platform to let the family know he was fine. He made that call the day he died, but he told his wife he noticed something odd.
Son: "There's three guys here, but he really didn't emphasize more on it. He just said there were three men. And she told him not to worry, it'll be okay, the train would be there in five minutes."
Besides pushing Soriano in front of a #6 train, the killers also took some cash and his beloved gold chain and cross he wore around his neck.
Rosa Soriano, Victim's Wife: "Yo lo unico que quiero es que sera justicia, que cojan a los que hicieron eso y hagan lo que tienen que hacerles." "I want justice," said Soriano's wife Rosa, "that they catch whoever did this and do with them what they have to do."


October 7th, 2005, 09:39 PM
Im not saying crime in New York is not a problem. That would be the last thing I say. The other forum members here know I dont like drugs, and seeing how New York is a huge city, there are huge amounts of drugs here. Im saying, I dont like you. Flat out I dont like you. I wont dress it up like alot of people here do. You dont dress up the stories you post. Ranch Dressing. Finally you posted a link, but you forgot one for these 'The second story happend in Harlem at the 28th precinct, a year ago'. Link please. But I WILL NOT believe something just because you say its true, and you provide a precint. Dont expect people to not believe something and then go out and research it, thats your part as a poster that if you want people to believe you, give a link. Look at my posts, do I look like someone that doesnt think there are problems in New York? Ive never really touched on domestic issues, usually just internation, terrorism ones. Im one of the most paraniod mother****ers youll ever meet. Italian Dressing.

The second story is no big deal. A guy in Harlem got shot. That happends all the time. An officer from the 2-8 told me that story. I see it in my own precinct all the time. These ****s just won't die these days.

I have no idea why you don't like me, mabey it's becuase I shut you down on another topic. I have no problem with you, becuase I don't know you. Meaning I don't care. I'm just here sharing the knowledge I have. It's up to you to belive me or not.

October 7th, 2005, 10:05 PM
Yes, he's 21 and has lived in the neighborhood his whole life..

Good so things shouldn't feel too different for him. He can walk down the street now or then, same shit. You walk up to a group of teens on a stoop now or then, spit at them, and you are going to get your ass beat. No change in that. Drugs still available everywhere. Same as then. A lot of the same old issues.

The same goes for my friend. He and his family have done very well for themselves. He's a senior at NYU, his sister's a sophomore at Cornell, his older brother works and his little brother is still in high school. In case you're wondering, they're half Peruvian, quarter Puerto Rican, and quarter Mexican..

Crazy mix. Good for him though.

That, of course, goes without saying. Most victims know their attackers and/or have a criminal record. It's the same anywhere, no?.


You said it yourself; improved medical care has saved the lives of shooting victims..

Yes, but shootings are up, over the last 5 years. That means if homicides aren't going up, we should see an increase in assualts.

Based on your professional opinion, what percentage of crimes that would otherwise be counted as felonies are actually recorded? Just curious..

Most, but when they can downgrade, they do it. You see, Popeye puts constant pressure on Capts to lower numbers, that puts pressure on Lt's, to Sgts, then goes to cops and Dt's in the street.


Yes, but aren't there also cases where someone commits suicide and relatives might report it to the police as a homicide because their religious beliefs find suicide taboo?.

Victims don't classify their own crimes. That's up to the cop or the squad.

But you must admit that that's a very rare occurrence..

This particular case is rare. downgrading occurs whenever possible.

What do you think can be done to correct it?.

It can easily be changed. They just won't. It's all about total numbers come January 1st and the end of each month.

I'll have to grant that because I don't have experience in that field..

Simple, people call. No report filed. Or it is classified incorrectly.

Like I said....

Yup, damn people robbing cell phones. It's epidemic in the south Bronx and Harlem.

Are misdemeanor statistics ever collected?.

On the precinct level. We file away all reports. Even reports from the 70's, good reads.

Misd are up like you wouldn't belive. Since felonies are downgraded.

I'll skip the improved medical care part of your response because I already touched on it..

A lot of lives have been saved.

Just out of curiosity, why not publish a book on this? Frank Serpico has made a name for himself as an NYPD gadfly and muckraker. If what you say is true, then the NYPD is in need of another expose.

I'm no writer, as you can see. Even my knowledge is limited, a retired cop should come out with it soon. A lot of cops are retiring too. All cops know about it anyway.

Damn too much quoting. Haha.

TLOZ Link5
October 8th, 2005, 01:12 PM
Damn too much quoting. Haha.

Sorry. Heh.

October 8th, 2005, 10:07 PM
The good old 65-95 era was wild. However if you were a homebody, nothing would happen to you. Same thing now.

It's okay with the quoting though.

TLOZ Link5
November 22nd, 2005, 01:50 PM
Bullets keep flying in my backyard

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

by Errol Lewis

Exactly two weeks after the Daily News published my concerns about raising my son in a rough neighborhood - Crown Heights - where crime is on the rise, the front-page story was about one of my neighbors, Police Officer Wiener Philippe, getting robbed and shot on St. Johns Place by a thieving lowlife who remained at large as of yesterday afternoon.
The NYPD's command staff must now match Philippe's bravery with concerted action.

After years of headlines touting historic declines in crime, the latest numbers in Brooklyn's Crown Heights and Prospect Heights neighborhoods paint a much less rosy picture.

In the 77th Precinct, where I live, there were 15 murders last year - way down from 1989, when 70 people were murdered, but still an unacceptable 66% increase from 1998. In the neighboring 71st, which covers lower Crown Heights, there have been 18 murders this year, an eye-popping 157% increase from last year.

These numbers, while alarming, do not capture the reality of life in a neighborhood where gun violence threatens to spin out of control.

Reality is tragedies like that of Benny Lyde, a senior at Long Island University, who remains paralyzed and comatose after being shot on Lincoln Place in September.

Or 35-year-old Kirk Probossing, who was fatally gunned down outside a barbershop on Empire Blvd. in June.

Or Linell Plair, a 29-year-old aspiring rapper and father of four, who was shot to death at a pre-Father's Day cookout at Ebbets Field housing complex.

Among the most heart-wrenching was the killing of Hyacinth Cespedes, a 54-year-old grandmother who got around in a wheelchair after being shot during a robbery two decades ago - only to die in August of this year when a bullet struck her during the crossfire of a Crown Heights gunfight.

Even the nonfatal violence is horrifying. Raphaelina Smith, a 12-year-old walking home from Public School 12 with her 8-year-old brother, took a bullet in the spine when a gunfight broke out on Sterling Place last spring. Schoolchildren are now all too aware of the inability of grownups to protect them.

Every time shots go off and blood is spilled in Crown Heights, many middle-class families - including my wife and me - ask, once again, if it's time to give in, give up and move out.

But I'm inspired by the many neighbors who have written to me, prepared to take a stand against gun violence in our midst.

In future columns, I hope to share good news about joint actions that good people can take to turn the situation around.

Our fight has just begun.

©2005 New York Daily News

November 23rd, 2005, 01:42 AM
^ Wow... what a story. I never been to Crown Heights. I wonder if there is new market rate development happening in that part of Brooklyn.

December 29th, 2005, 12:04 AM
New York City Likely To Report Lowest Homicide Rate Since 1963

BY ELIZABETH SOLOMONT - Special to the Sun
December 28, 2005
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/25038

This year, New York City likely will report its lowest rate of homicides in more than four decades, according to recently released police data. Fulfilling police and law enforcement predictions over the past few months, the year-end crime statistics are on track to reflect the lowest homicide rate in the city since 1963, when 549 homicides were reported.

According to police data, the city's total crime rate declined in nearly every category, with 528 murders reported through December 25, down 5.5% from 559 reported during the same time period last year. The crime indexes that reflected the largest drops were burglary, with 23,395 reported cases, down 11.4% from 26,423 this time last year, and grand larceny auto, which had 17,586 incidents this year, an 11.8% drop from 19,955 reported this time last year, according to police data.

Robbery was the only crime category that rose, with a 0.8% increase to 23,948 from 23,786 this time last year, police data indicated.

Police Inspector Michael Coan yesterday said several factors contributed to the low statistical reports. "Crime has decreased over 5% this year, and 18% the last four years. This reflects the outstanding efforts of the men and women of the NYPD," he said.

Specifically, Inspector Coan credited several police initiatives, including Operation Impact, which infuses high crime police precincts with additional officers, and Operation Trident, which dispatches extra officers to three neighborhoods with high crime rates.

In East New York's 75th Precinct, which reported some 100 annual homicides during the 1990s, the 3,391 total crimes reported this year to date reflect a 12.29% decrease from 3,866 crimes reported this time last year. The precint ranks sixth in crime reduction out of 76 police commands in the city, Inspector Coan said. Through December 25, there were 29 reported homicides, the same number reported this time last year, just before the precinct implemented Operation Trident.

Yesterday, the president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, Thomas Repetto, said the city's low crime rates could be attributed to police officials who have focused resources in the most desperate areas, and have "probably done the best job of any Police Department in the United States in reducing crime and keeping it down."

Still, some police precincts that historically report high murder rates reported an increase in homicides, in contrast to the citywide trend.

In Bedford-Stuyvesant's 79th police precinct, where three people were killed within 48 hours last week, police reported 24 homicides through December 25, up 50% from 16 homicides reported this time last year. In the Bronx's 46th police precinct, police data reported that 22 murders occurred, up from 18 this time last year.

Police did not explain yesterday what caused those spikes, but Inspector Coan said that the overall crime rates in those precincts were down. In Bedford-Stuyvesant's 79th Precinct, "overall crime is down 3% this year and 16% in the last four years," he said. Homicides in the Bronx's 46th Precinct "are down more than 65% in the last 12 years, despite an increase in the last two years," he said.

But City Council Member Letitia James, of the Working Families Party in Brooklyn, who represents part of Bedford-Stuyvesant, said police should expand Operation Impact into more police precincts in Central Brooklyn. "It doesn't surprise me that overall crime is down," she said. "However, there are still pockets where too many violent crimes are occurring."

TLOZ Link5
December 30th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Next year, we should shoot for below five hundred.

January 8th, 2006, 11:59 PM
Bloomberg Gunning For The NRA

NY 1
January 08, 2006


Mayor Michael Bloomberg has the NRA in his sights as he continues his quest to get illegal guns off of New York streets.

The Daily News reports the mayor is looking to rally other big city mayors to join his fight getting illegal guns off the streets.

Experts tell the paper, success against the National Rifle Association and the powerful gun lobby depends on if and how much of his personal fortune the mayor is willing to spend on his crusade.

The mayor made gun control one of the focuses of his inaugural speech last week.

A spokesman for the mayor tells the paper the mayor is looking into every resource at his disposal in order to stop the flow of illegal guns.

Copyright © 2005 NY1 News. All rights reserved.

January 9th, 2006, 02:21 AM
Next year, we should shoot for below five hundred.I'd kill to see that.
Bad puns intended...

TLOZ Link5
January 9th, 2006, 10:21 PM
I'd kill to see that.
Bad puns intended...

Oh, Lord, I didn't even see that. Good catch.


Mayor's Gun Talk Begets a Warning from Rifle Group

BY JULIA LEVY - Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 3, 2006

URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/25187

Only hours after Mayor Bloomberg vowed in his second inaugural address to launch a national campaign against "illegal guns," the gun rights lobby is mobilizing to respond, with the influential National Rifle Association accusing the mayor of "intimidating law abiding Americans."

On Sunday, as Mr. Bloomberg was sworn in for his second term, he invoked the names of police officers shot and killed in the line of duty as he announced a new, central focus of his administration - protecting New Yorkers from what he called "the scourge of illegal guns" by taking a message for tougher gun laws to "Albany, to Washington, and to every capital of every state that permits guns to flow freely across its border." He called it the city's "most urgent challenge."

The administration has yet to provide concrete details of its new approach, though it seems to involve asking other states to adopt and enforce New York-style laws requiring the registration and licensing of all handguns. But the ambiguity of the city's new gun agenda hasn't stopped Second Amendment proponents from beginning to fight back.

"I think Mayor Bloomberg ought to focus on New York City, given that that's his area of responsibility. He has challenges over there because he has misplaced priorities," the director of public affairs at the National Rifle Association, Andrew Arulanandam, said. "Rather than focusing on enacting more gun control laws that only affect law abiding citizens, he should make sure that criminals pay the harshest penalties for breaking the law."

When asked if the rifle association is intimidated by Mr. Bloomberg's newly aggressive posture, Mr. Arulanandam said: "We take every threat towards the rights of law abiding Americans seriously, but we think the mayor would be better served if he would put his financial muscle and the muscle of his office toward cracking down on criminals, not on intimidating law abiding Americans."

Jacob Rieper, the legislative director for the rifle association's New York State affiliate, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said he expects Mr. Bloomberg will meet substantial national opposition.

"He just doesn't have the clout to carry this to other states. Other states outside of New York are getting rid of their gun control laws. New York City is the only one still trying to keep hope alive that criminals are going to pay attention to their laws," he said.

Mr. Rieper added that Mr. Bloomberg seems to be saying "the entire United States is wrong and we're right," and said that attitude would not endear him to lawmakers outside of New York.

A retired journalism professor who sells antique and collectable firearms at his antique shop in Montgomery, N.Y., Glenn Doty, said the last thing he wants as the father of two police officers are illegal guns on the streets. But, he said, that doesn't mean the Bloomberg administration should pursue a legislative remedy to gun violence.

"A crackdown on the sale of illegal firearms is just fine with me. The problem that always seems to happen as soon as the politicians decide to crack down on illegal guns is they pass laws that harm people who own the guns legally," he said.

While Mr. Doty said it seems New York gun laws are already harsh enough, he said he would support an effort to go after straw purchasers - those who buy guns in states with more relaxed gun laws and resell them in New York. He also said he would support other states adopting New York's standard that requires people buying guns at gun shows to undergo the same criminal background checks required for sales at federally licensed gun stores.

Still, he said, it seems that a lot of progress could be accomplished though stricter federal monitoring of gun sales and enforcing current regulations rather than enacting new laws.

A professor of criminology and criminal justice at Florida State University, Gary Kleck, dismissed Mr. Bloomberg's new agenda and said, "Politically, it's dead in the water."

"The trend in recent years is the exact opposite direction," he said. "Republicans basically like more punishment for criminals, so the only type of gun control they favor is heavier penalties for crimes with guns or even heavier penalties for carrying illegal guns."

In recent years Congress has passed laws forbidding lawsuits against those who manufacture guns and making it harder to gain access to gun sales data. The Bloomberg administration says the data privacy law makes it harder for law enforcement officials to trace guns for crime prevention purposes.

Mr. Kleck, who is a nationally renowned authority on the study of guns, said, "The underlying flaw in the reasoning is its supply-side orientation. It's trying to reduce gun violence by reducing the supply of guns."

Mr. Kleck said a "demand-side strategy" characterized by going after criminals and making it risky to own a gun would be a more effective approach.

Despite early signs that Mr. Bloomberg's newly announced goal will face resistance, his effort is being greeted with support from gun control advocates.

"What the mayor's called for is exactly what we've been trying to highlight for a number of years," the executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Jackie Kuhls, said. "I think that he is in a very good position to influence national lawmakers and certainly current national office holders. He's contributed personally to the campaigns of some of these people. Also, he's the mayor of one of the biggest cities and the city that's most affected by illegal guns from other states."

Ms. Kuhls added that Mr. Bloomberg's speech Sunday should serve as a "wake-up call" to states that supply illegal guns to New York.

City Council Member David Yassky, who helped enact the gun control law known as the Brady Bill when he was working as an aide to then Rep. Charles Schumer, said he is "excited" about the new Bloomberg agenda.

Mr. Yassky said toughening gun laws nationally would not be easy, but he said, "I think he's in a good position to get real results. Really what we need is for Congress to change course. They've been loosening restrictions on the gun industry. They need to tighten restrictions."

He said as a "prominent Republican" the mayor might be able to "hold others in his party accountable for their wrong decisions on guns."

Mr. Yassky said the mayor should articulate his goals publicly and also actively publicize Police Department gun-tracing data so that everyone can better understand the impact of gun violence.

"Americans are good-hearted people," he said. "If they can be made to understand that their laws are creating a serious gun problem in New York City, I think they'll take that seriously."

The chief trial lawyer representing New York City in a lawsuit against gun manufacturers, Michael S. Elkin of Thelen Reid & Priest, said, "It's really important for individual municipalities to play a significant role. The national agenda is really influenced by the National Rifle Association, and they have significant hold or control over both the executive branch and members of Congress."

Mr. Elkin said he thinks legislative reform will be left largely to local and state governments.

While he said the rifle association would provide a serious challenge to the mayor's initiative, he said, "There is ample room for other local municipalities and state governments to take proactive steps to reduce the illegal firearm sales."

According to police statistics, there were 3,303 gun-related arrests last year, up from 2,894 in 2004. Shooting incidents also rose to 1,534 in 2005 from 1,480 in 2004. There were 540 homicides in New York City last year, police said, the lowest total since 1963.

©New York Sun 2006

TLOZ Link5
January 9th, 2006, 10:29 PM
In any case, from what I've heard Bloomberg himself has a conceal-carry permit.

And for informational purposes, gun laws as applying to New York City:


TLOZ Link5
February 10th, 2006, 03:59 PM

Crime up, but cops play it down


Crime has increased in every major category so far this year compared with the same period in 2005 - but police officials dismissed the spike as an insignificant blip.

"It's an increase only because it's being compared to an all-time-record low," said Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne.

"Despite the increase over last year, this January was the second-lowest [crime rate] since we began recording statistics."

Murders were up 20% - rising to 60 from 50 - through Sunday compared with the same period last year, NYPD data show.

But the murder rate has increased this year in large part because of an unusual spate of violence last week, including the murders of six people within 24 hours last weekend, officials said.

From Jan. 30 to Sunday, murders increased 114% - rising to 15 from 7.

During the same week, reported rapes jumped 25.6%, violent assaults rose 17% and shooting incidents soared 50%.

But the overall crime rate in the city last January was the lowest since the NYPD started keeping comparable stats in the early 1960s, police officials said.

Police officials noted that one fewer person was killed last month than in January 2005 - 44 homicides compared to 45.

The NYPD tracks major crimes on a daily basis and routinely alters the deployment of cops to stop disturbing trends, policing experts said.

"The NYPD has the most efficient organization in the country for spotting crime trends and deploying their people before it gets too far," said Thomas Reppetto, coauthor of "NYPD: A City and Its Police."

"If the past few years is any example, they'll get a handle on this spike."

Originally published on February 10, 2006

©New York Daily New 2006

April 28th, 2006, 05:07 AM
April 28, 2006
New York Killers, and Those Killed, by Numbers

Map: Murder in New York (http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20060428_HOMICIDE_MAP.html)

Graphic: Statistics on Murder in New York City (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/04/28/nyregion/28homicide-graphic.gif)

The oldest killer was 88; he murdered his wife. The youngest was 9; she stabbed her friend. The women were more than twice as likely as men to murder a current spouse or lover. But once the romance was over, only the men killed their exes. The deadliest day was on July 10, 2004, when eight people died in separate homicides.

Five people eliminated a boss; 10 others murdered co-workers. Males who killed favored firearms, while women and girls chose knives as often as guns. More homicides occurred in Brooklyn than in any other borough. More happened on Saturday. And roughly a third are unsolved.

At the end of each year, the New York Police Department reports the number of killings — there were 540 in 2005. Typically, much is made of how the number has fallen in recent years — to totals not seen since the early 1960's. But beyond summarizing the overarching trends, the police spend little time compiling the individual details.

The New York Times obtained the basic records for every murder in the city over the last three years, and while the events make for disturbing reading, the numbers can hint at trends, occasionally solve a mystery and in at least some straightforward way answer for the city the questions of who kills and who is killed in the five boroughs.

From 2003 through 2005, 1,662 murders were committed in New York. No information, beyond an occasional physical description, is available on the killers in the unsolved cases.

Of the rest, men and boys were responsible for 93 percent of the murders; they killed with guns about two-thirds of the time; their victims tended to be other men and boys; and in more than half the cases, the killer and the victim knew each other.

The police said they were more interested in disrupting crime patterns. "We're looking for things with operational implications — time of day, day of the week — to see that we deploy officers at the right times and in sufficient numbers," said Michael J. Farrell, deputy commissioner for strategic initiatives.

The offender and victim were of the same race in more than three-quarters of the killings. And according to Mr. Farrell, they often had something else in common: More than 90 percent of the killers had criminal records; and of those who wound up killed, more than half had them.

"If the average New Yorker is concerned about being murdered in a random crime, the odds of that happening are really remote," Mr. Farrell said. "If you are living apart from a life of crime, your risk is negligible."

Criminologists confirm that assessment. "People will be shocked to see how safe it is to live in New York City," said Andrew Karmen, a sociology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an expert on victimology. "Victims and offenders are pretty much pulled from the same background. Very often, young victims have young killers. Very often, the victim and killer knew each other."

But plenty of times, events diverge from the norm.

At least a quarter of the city's murders in these three years, were committed by strangers, and in those instances, most were the result of a dispute. Stranger homicides now happen at almost twice the rate of 50 years ago, when, according to a classic study by Marvin Wolfgang, a criminologist, about 14 percent of murders were committed by strangers.

"Homicide used to be regarded as an acquaintance phenomenon with relatively rare incidents involving strangers," said Steven F. Messner, a homicide expert and a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. "It's still characteristically an acquaintance event. But the stranger homicides are now nontrivial."

After four years as commander of the Brooklyn North homicide squad, Lt. John Cornicello said the murders in his section of the borough had begun to run together. Yet from memory, he rolled off the details of several: The good Samaritan shot for his Lincoln Navigator after offering a ride to a group of stranded people. The ".40-caliber killer," a serial murderer who shot and killed but did not rob four shopkeepers because he believed they were Middle Eastern.

"More and more, they seem to be the result of stupidity," Lieutenant Cornicello said. "Take the Potato Wedge Killer."

In that recent case, a customer at a KFC restaurant became incensed when he did not receive enough starch with his fried chicken order. After demanding both a refund and an order of potato wedges, he later confronted the cashier with whom he had argued and stabbed him to death.

Among all the city's victims, the oldest was 91; she died during a robbery. Whites and Asians, who seldom murdered, were also infrequently killed: Together, they represented 75 or fewer victims each year. Most homicides occurred outdoors. The deadliest hour was 1 to 2 a.m.

And a small but unsettling number of children were among the victims, including 21 infants and 32 children ages 1 to 10, most of whom died at the hands of a parent.

According to Professor Karmen, 10 is the safest age. "You're too old to be abused or neglected as a child," he said, "and you're not old enough to be out on the streets."

An interesting, though uncommon, group of murders that made it into the police accounting in these years involved a handful of victims who died of injuries they had first suffered in crimes committed one or more years before.

Stabbed, shot, beaten or burned, they survived long enough to be counted as murder victims in another calendar year.

Sixty-nine victims fit this description.

In some instances, they were injured decades ago. The medical examiner alerts the police when such deaths occur, according to Sgt. Edward Yee of the Police Department's crime analysis unit, and the police add the victims to that year's murder tally.

For example, 21 deaths that were counted as murders in 2005 resulted from injuries that occurred in earlier years.

The oldest involved a shooting in 1975, when a man attacked his brother in a domestic dispute. That raised the murder toll to 540, the lowest figure recorded by the city in four decades, but only 519 murders were committed last year.

Subtracting these belated deaths makes the recent decline in the number of homicides — which has grabbed headlines — seem even more stunning. But for the purpose of generating the annual murder tally, the police do not distinguish between fresh and delayed murders.

"No one does," Mr. Farrell said, referring to other police departments.

Within the city, 40 percent of the murders occurred in Brooklyn. The 75th Precinct, with 90, had the most of any precinct, but there were hot spots scattered throughout the city, in Brooklyn's 73rd, 79th and 83rd Precincts, for example, and in the 44th and 46th Precincts in the Bronx. In and around the 32nd Precinct in Harlem could be dangerous, too.

No one is certain what explains the recent decreases in the overall number of homicides, but many criminologists believe social factors may help explain why, and where, most murders continue to occur.

"The problem of crime and violence is rooted in neighborhood conditions — high rates of poverty, family disruption, failing schools, lack of recreational opportunities, active recruitment by street gangs, drug markets," Professor Karmen said. "People forced to reside under those conditions are at a greater risk of getting caught up in violence, as victims or as perpetrators."

The police are generally unimpressed by such theories, as well as the minutiae surrounding the deaths.

"Crime is concentrated," Mr. Farrell said. "Who knows why? We're looking at what we can affect."

The roughly one-third of the homicides that remain unsolved create one of the larger categories of murder. Typically, 50 to 55 percent of murders are solved in the same calendar year in which the crime is committed, according to Paul J. Browne, a deputy police commissioner in New York.

The police clear an additional number of murders from previous years, for an overall annual clearance rate of about 70 percent. That beats the national average, which is closer to 62 percent, according to F.B.I. statistics.

In New York, several things may contribute to the number of open cases, according to the police and criminologists. A significant number may have been stranger murders, which are particularly hard to solve. It can take months to collect witness statements.

And sometimes, detectives just cannot get the right person to talk.

"The big secret of detective work," Lieutenant Cornicello said, "is that you've got to get somebody else to tell you what happened."

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

April 28th, 2006, 08:29 AM

Scanning through the last page......


April 28th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Lots of sad ironies.

May 9th, 2006, 08:13 AM


NY POST (http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/68240.htm)

May 9, 2006 -- Murders have jumped nearly 5 percent so far this year in the Big Apple, fueled by a recent spike in gun violence, police statistics show.

With more than a third of the year completed, NYPD statistics through Sunday show there have been 173 slayings in the five boroughs.

That compared with 165 during the same period last year.

Rapes have jumped more than 13 percent this year, with 607 attacks reported, compared with 536 last year.

In addition to the jumps in murder and rapes, police have recorded a recent sharp increase in shootings and gunplay.

This is particularly troubling considering that Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to curtail gun violence in his second term by targeting out-of-state arms traffickers and lobbying for tougher federal gun laws.

In the past month alone, the number of shootings jumped 15.3 percent, from 104 last year to 120 this year.

Gun crimes soared 33 percent in the past week, with 36 incidents reported, compared with 27 during the same seven days last year.

And the number of shooting victims has also risen.

Last week, 50 people were hit by bullets, compared with 28 for the same week in 2005 - a 78.5 percent increase.

During the past four weeks, 147 New Yorkers were wounded by gunfire, compared with 121 during the same period last year. That's a 21.4 percent jump.

The recent spate of gunplay has contributed to an overall 4.8 percent murder rise in the Big Apple so far this year.

If the trend continues throughout the remainder of 2006, it will mark the first time since 2000, when Rudy Giuliani was mayor, that the murder rate rose.
But there is good news on the crime front.

Overall crime this year remains down 4.38 percent, with declines in robberies, assaults, burglaries, grand larceny and auto thefts.

An NYPD spokesman declined comment.

Since 1993, murder and rape remain down 74 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

June 12th, 2006, 06:17 PM
NYC crime rate drops, bucking national trend

June 12, 2006

(AP) — New York City bucked a national trend of rising violent crime last year and continued to reduce its homicide rate, according to new figures from the FBI released Monday.

The FBI said that while homicides rose 4.8% nationwide last year, they fell 5.4% between 2004 and 2005 in New York City.

The city did see an uptick in robberies, which rose by 1.4% last year. The FBI said there was not sufficient data to compare arsons in the city between the two years.

Overall, violent crime in New York dropped 1.9%, according to the FBI, in a year when crime rose 2.5% nationwide. That was the largest percentage increase since 1991.

“The latest FBI report reaffirms that the fact that our police officers are doing an outstanding job in suppressing crime through Operation Impact and related strategies,” NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement.

Operation Impact targets specific streets or areas to deploy large numbers of officers, aimed at rounding up gang members, drug dealers, and people wanted on old warrants.

New York City's homicide rate reached an all-time high of 2,245 in 1990, making it the murder capital of the nation. Since then, the rate has plummeted to levels not seen since the 1960's.

The good numbers for New York come at a time when Mayor Michael Bloomberg is feuding with the federal government over the best way to further reduce homicides and other crime.

Mr. Bloomberg has accused Congress of coddling criminals by blocking his efforts to trace the flow of illegal guns into cities from other states.

©Copyright 2006 Associated Press.

June 12th, 2006, 07:17 PM
Note that this is for 2004 - 2005:

NYC crime rate drops, bucking national trend

The FBI said that while homicides rose 4.8% nationwide last year, they fell 5.4% between 2004 and 2005 in New York City.

As the previous report showed, homicides are UP 5% in NYC from Jan. > Apr. in 2006.

June 12th, 2006, 10:08 PM
They also gave credit for The Times Square clean-up to Giuliani. The Disney made it's deal with the city under Mayor Dinkins and Governor Cuomo. The whole thing just took shape during Giuliani administration.

What about President Clinton's "more beat cops in City Streets" campaign all over U.S. The federal Government paid for a lot of the cops Giuliani hired when he pushed the count to 45,000...

June 12th, 2006, 10:11 PM
Bloomberg is playing THIS (http://www.nyc.gov/portal/index.jsp?epi_menuItemID=c0935b9a57bb4ef3daf2f1c70 1c789a0&epi_menuID=13ecbf46556241d3daf2f1c701c789a0&epi_baseMenuID=27579af732d48f86a62fa24601c789a0&pageID=mayor_press_release&catID=1194&doc_name=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nyc.gov%2Fhtml%2Fom%2Fht ml%2F2006a%2Fpr197-06.html&cc=unused1978&rc=1194&ndi=1) for all he can.

June 22nd, 2006, 09:53 AM
So....... if Bloomberg is such a great mayor why has he left the NYPD to start it's people off at an embarrassing $25,000 a year.

While being the biggest city in the world, you should have to pay your police good wages. I know one liberal idiot who says that if they don't like the pay they can go somewhere else.

Great thinking...... since SHE certainly makes more than 25k, why would she care about anyone making less than her.

New York still has some work to do in that department (fixing police salaries) since my neighbor is an MTA bus driver who was making over $47k his first year at work, and I was making $46,000 as a ferry deckhand

July 23rd, 2006, 12:52 PM

NY POST (http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/crack_shots__feds_bust_city_gun_ring_regionalnews_ heidi_singer.htm)

July 23, 2006 -- A pair of Virginia felons paid associates with clean rap sheets to buy guns - often tossing them a lump of crack for their trouble - then sold their deadly booty on the streets of New York, the feds charged.

Deborah "New York" Davis and Dionne "Little T" Greene were busted by Virginia federal prosecutors for operating a gun-running ring that brought dozens weapons, including 9-mm and .45-caliber semiautomatics, .50-caliber revolvers and rifles to the five boroughs in 2004 and 2005.

Nine friends and family members were also indicted, but four were still at large as of Friday, according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper of Norfolk.

"The ringleaders were purchasing numerous firearms in the Tidewater [Va.] area, using straw purchasers and transporting them to New York, where they were selling the firearms on the streets for a significant profit," the indictment stated.

Convicted felons are prohibited by law from buying guns. Acting as a "straw" gun buyer is also illegal. The nine straw men and women were paid up to $100 to buy the guns, but some received just a piece of crack, the feds said.

The weapons sell for about $200 each, but can fetch double or triple on the black market, authorities said.

"Indictments such as these will help stem the flow of these guns onto New York City streets," said Stu Loeser, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg, who is suing 15 dealers in other states - including four in Virginia - for selling more than 500 guns recovered from crime scenes in the 1990s.

This will "send an unequivocal message that we will hold unscrupulous dealers accountable for the harm they cause New Yorkers," said Loeser.

Neither of the two gun shops used by the alleged traffickers is targeted in the mayor's lawsuit.

Richard Taylor, who owns D&R Arms, one of the shops, said he had cooperated with federal investigators to help identify the alleged gun runners.

The owner of the other shop, Robert Marcus, said straw buys aren't always obvious.

"A person may come in and see the gun he wants and maybe two or three days later another person comes in and purchases that gun and we have no idea that's going on," said the owner of Bob's Gun Shop, who's also president of the Virginia Dealers Association, a firearms retailers' group.

"We would not knowingly make a straw sale to anyone under any circumstance," he added.

In 2002, Bob's was among several hundred gun shops singled out by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for selling at least 10 guns used in crimes within three years of their purchase, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

With Post Wire Services

Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.

July 23rd, 2006, 01:26 PM
In Singapore they'd string 'em up. If drugs ruin lives, think of how much more guns do.

July 23rd, 2006, 02:08 PM
A sad, sad story --

'Blade' sword of justice

NY DAILY NEWS (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/437474p-368478c.html)
Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

His mother dead on the floor, a 23-year-old man rammed a replica "vampire slaying" sword from the Hollywood blockbuster "Blade" into her drunken killer early yesterday - and then grabbed the man's own gun and executed him, police said.

Vilma Rosario, shot to death in her bedroom
by her lover, Emmanuel Allen.

Moments after Vilma Rosario was shot to death by her lover, her 15-year-old daughter, Lisa, fled their Bedford-Stuyvesant home, screaming, "Oh God, he killed my mother! Oh God, he killed my mother!"

But her older brothers remained inside the Madison St. apartment - bent on confronting the man who had just gunned down their mom. The two boys, Raymond Garcia, 16, and Juju Garcia, 23, found their 39-year-old mom dying on the floor of her bedroom about midnight. Her murderous boyfriend, Emmanuel Allen, 31, was sitting nearby, still clutching his gun, Raymond and police said.

"He was just sitting in the chair, holding the gun," Raymond told the Daily News.

Allen looked up and mumbled: "She's okay. I didn't mean to do it."

But his words only enraged Rosario's sons.

Juju pulled out the nearly 3-foot-long sword - a deadly replica of "The Sword of the Daywalker" in the movie "Blade" - and began slashing away at his mom's murderer.

Bleeding, Allen dropped his .45-caliber pistol. Juju grabbed the gun and his little brother, Raymond, took over slashing Allen with the sword. Seconds later, Juju shot Allen, killing him instantly, police sources said.

"My mother, she loved us," Raymond said. "And that bastard took her away. We tried to save her, but we couldn't."

Cops questioned Raymond and Juju for several hours but did not charge them with a crime.

The "Blade" replica sword that they used to attack Allen can be easily purchased online for about $130. In the hit movie, actor Wesley Snipes uses the sword to hunt vampires.

Rosario's five children - four sons and one daughter - were devastated by her savage murder.

"She was a loving and caring mother until she met that bastard," said her son, Valentine Garcia, 22. "She did everything for us. And he killed her. He was a jealous freak."

Allen apparently shot Rosario in her face during a malt-liquor-fueled argument over his alleged infidelity. Rosario's daughter was with two of her brothers in the living room when the shot rang out from the bedroom.

"He just shot her for no reason," Lisa said.

After killing Allen, the two brothers walked out of the house. Raymond told neighbors, "He shot my mother, so we killed him," witnesses said.

Lisa Garcia, her brother Valentine and a neighbor
leave Bed-Stuy apartment where Vilma Rosario was killed.

Neighbors said Rosario and Allen, a security guard, had been dating for about three years and fought frequently.

"She was scared to death of that man," said neighbor Taesha Francis, 29. "He would threaten her a lot. She would cry and say to him, ‘Why are you doing this to me? I love you.'" Two weeks ago, Francis said Rosario appeared dejected as she walked to church.

"I want out," Rosario said. "But he's not going to let me."

All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

July 23rd, 2006, 02:17 PM
Hope they don't prosecute the son.

July 23rd, 2006, 02:59 PM
I think the crime is slowly creeping back up as far as I'm concerned.. I am once again seeing things that I did not see for a long while.

Like the prostitutes that come out late at night and earlier and earlier everyday... The squeegy man is back in business... I see more and more teenagers hanging out in packs, looking bored and intimidating...

You can say whatever you like but I see them as signs of the crime on the uprise..

September 19th, 2006, 04:21 PM
September 19, 2006
New York Is Safest Big City, F.B.I. Report Shows

New York City remained the safest big city in the nation in 2005, according to an F.B.I. report released yesterday. The report also showed that the city experienced a 4.3 percent drop in overall reported crime last year compared with a nationwide drop of 1.2 percent.

“Today’s final 2005 report by the F.B.I. shows that our innovative efforts to reduce crime and increase New Yorkers’ quality of life are working,” Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement.

The data, almost 10 months old, show that while the number of reported homicides increased nationwide last year by 3.4 percent, the number reported in the city fell by 5.4 percent. Police statistics, however, show that through this Sept. 10, the number of reported killings is up 2.1 percent compared with the same period last year.

In 2005, the number of robberies reported nationwide increased by 3.9 percent, while in the city it increased by 1.4 percent. Over all, reported violent crime fell last year by 1.9 percent in the city, while nationwide it rose by 2.3 percent.

The city’s Total Crime Index ranked lowest for crime in 2005 among the nation’s 10 largest cities, including Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Dallas had the worst index ranking, with 8,484.4 reported crimes per 100,000 people. That represents about one crime for each 12 people. Los Angeles, which ranked eighth, experienced 3,850.4 crimes per 100,000 people, or one crime per 26 people. New York City experienced 2,675.5 crimes per 100,000 people, or about one crime per 37 people.

Thus far in 2006, overall reported crime in New York City continues to fall, down 5.04 percent by Sept. 10 compared with the same period last year.

Though no specific national data is yet available for the year to date, law enforcement officials and crime analysts have noted a continued rise in crime in some areas across the country.

David Kennedy, director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said yesterday that many crime analysts believe the causes for that increase vary by region, but include traditional issues like illegally obtained firearms and drug availability. But some newer issues may also be at the root, he said.

“It’s very hard to put your finger on, but a lot of us are convinced there’s a very real spreading and intensifying of this street subculture” involving issues of “honor, respect, and issues of manhood inextricably tied up with violent responses,” Mr. Kennedy said.

He added that some police departments across the country have cited a lack of resources.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

September 19th, 2006, 08:20 PM
New York still has some work to do in that department (fixing police salaries) since my neighbor is an MTA bus driver who was making over $47k his first year at work, and I was making $46,000 as a ferry deckhand

I know this is not the adequate theard to ask about it, but just want to know the answer and i will not commet more about it in this thread.
$47k for MTA bus driver in the first year.
Just two question.
How much are the taxes?I mean, after taxes how much is it?
And last question, what do I have to do to apply for a job like that? Im from spain and if you are a city bus driver can make 20k €. Life here is cheaper, but this doesnt cost the half. I think we can start a new thread talking about that.

September 19th, 2006, 08:47 PM
Taxes in the US is very confusing and differs person to person depending if you are single or married and lots of other variables ...

September 19th, 2006, 09:06 PM
...like how cleverly you can disguise your deductions. :D

September 29th, 2006, 05:24 AM
September 29, 2006
Despite Continuing Decrease in Crime in the City, Troubling Signs Emerge

A person is more likely this year than last to be murdered in Orlando, robbed in Oakland or assaulted in Milwaukee. But so far this year, the streets of New York City have been growing ever safer, just as they have been for more than a decade.

Over all, crime is down in New York by roughly 5 percent from the same period last year, according to the most recent police statistics, even as it is creeping up in many other American cities.

But digging deeper into the city’s numbers uncovers some worrisome trends. Crime committed by young people, including murder, is rising. Stemming the flow of illegal guns is a vexing challenge, police officials say.

And the official murder rate has risen, though police officials attribute the increase to an unusual factor: A high number of crime victims have died this year from injuries sustained long ago, and their deaths are still classified as 2006 murders.

Of those arrested on charges of murder so far this year, about 14 percent were under 18, nearly double the city’s average, 8 percent, for the past three years.

Juvenile arrests for murder and other major felonies increased to 4,842 in this fiscal year from 4,352 in the past one. That is an increase of 11.3 percent, whereas since at least 2002 there have been annual increases no greater than 2.1 percent, according to a city report released this month.

Criminologists attribute the spurt in youth crime in some places to what they call an evolving subculture among juveniles and young adults that encourages violent responses to seemingly trivial disputes.

“What everybody sees is street rules saying if you’re dissed you have to do something,” said David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “And what counts as being dissed is getting more and more minor.”

But Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said he had seen no indication that was a major contributing factor in New York. He said he was not certain what was causing the uptick in juvenile crime. What is clear, Mr. Kelly said, is that New York, like other cities, is struggling with the impact of illegal guns on crime.

“We are victimized by lax gun control in other states,” he said. “There’s way too many guns on the street. Everybody accepts that.”

In response to the continued buildup of guns, Mr. Kelly said the Police Department had intensified its debriefing program, which views anyone arrested for gun possession as a source of information on illegal weapons and their sources. In addition, he said the department merged its separate gun units in April into a better coordinated gun suppression unit and funneled extra resources its way.

Through Sept. 24, gun arrests in New York City had risen 14.3 percent, to 2,750 from 2,404 during the same period last year. Handgun seizures through Aug. 31 rose to 849 this year from 498 over the same period last year. And despite the remaining reservoir of guns on the streets, shootings citywide so far this year have fallen, to 1,135 from 1,175 during the same time frame in 2005.

But while the citywide picture remains relatively rosy, certain neighborhoods, after years of declining crime, are more dangerous.

In the neighborhoods that constitute Harlem’s 32nd Precinct, which stretches north from 127th Street, for example, there were 37 shootings through Sept. 24, up from 27 during the same period last year. Gun arrests increased to 83 from 47 during the same time frame. There were 13 homicides in the precinct through Sept. 24, compared with 6 in the same period of 2005.

In the 120th Precinct in Staten Island, which covers the area north of the Staten Island Expressway, auto thefts were up 18.8 percent and robbery had increased 17.1 percent by Sept. 24, compared with the same period last year. During the same time frame the precinct recorded 13 homicides, compared with 7 last year.

Still, underscoring how much improved the crime picture is from a decade ago, people who live in the neighborhood say they feel safer.

“It’s gotten better,” said Denise Allen, 50, who has lived all her life in Stapleton Houses, a public housing complex in the 120th Precinct. “You don’t hear as much killing and shooting. You used to be scared here walking.”

The official number of citywide homicides had increased through Sept. 24 to 409 from 403 for the same period last year.

What has inflated the 2006 statistic is an unusual number of deaths this year that were classified as homicides because the medical examiner determined they were directly related to crimes from previous years, the police said.

One such case is that of 72-year-old Kam Tsang, who was shot under unknown circumstances in Lower Manhattan in 1974, the police said. Mr. Tsang was left paralyzed after the shooting but died in April of pneumonia. In June the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, attributing his susceptibility to pneumonia to the initial gunshot wound.

Twenty-five such reclassified deaths were included in the homicide count by Sept. 24, and 12 of those were related to injuries sustained at least 14 years ago, the police said. Last year only 13 such reclassified deaths were counted by Sept. 24, and the rise appears somewhat of a fluke, the police said.

The rates for other major crimes in New York, including robbery and felony assault, are down so far this year from the same period in 2005. As a result, New York stands in stark contrast to other cities.

For example, the murder rate in Orlando jumped more than 200 percent, to 37, through Aug. 31, compared with 12 for the same period in 2005. Oakland, Calif., had roughly 850 more robberies by Sept. 24 this year than it did by the same date last year, about a 42 percent increase. And in Milwaukee, the number of assaults jumped by more than 700, a 22 percent increase, during the first six months of the year compared with the first half of 2005.

“What we’re seeing here over the past 18 to 24 months is an emerging trend of increased violence in three areas: aggravated assault, robbery and homicide,” said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based organization that focuses on law enforcement issues. “It’s widespread and it is significant”

The causes for such increases vary by city, and whether they suggest a prolonged trend remains unclear, Mr. Kennedy said. But what is certain is that “New York is really standing on the other side of this,” he said.

Richard Aborn, the president of New York’s Citizens Crime Commission, a group that monitors police policies in New York, said the success comes even as the Police Department has about 4,600 fewer officers than it did in 2000.

Mr. Kennedy said, “I, like a lot of other people, are firmly convinced it’s about how the N.Y.P.D. is operating.”

He added, referring to changes in crime over time: “New York has consistently managed to show these are not inexorable tidal forces that you just watch. N.Y.P.D.’s core conviction is that the police can do something about crime if they stay at it.”

Ann Farmer contributed reporting.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

September 29th, 2006, 07:01 AM
Criminologists attribute the spurt in youth crime in some places to what they call an evolving subculture among juveniles and young adults that encourages violent responses to seemingly trivial disputes.

“What everybody sees is street rules saying if you’re dissed you have to do something,” said David M. Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “And what counts as being dissed is getting more and more minor.”
This phenomenon extends to the hinterlands where I live.

An effect of rap music?

But Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said he had seen no indication that was a major contributing factor in New York. He said he was not certain what was causing the uptick in juvenile crime.
Can’t understand why he’d say this. I’ve seen it, and I’m not a Police Commissioner.

Doesn’t he read his profession’s newsletters?

“We are victimized by lax gun control in other states,” he said. “There’s way too many guns on the street. Everybody accepts that.”
Oh, I see: he has an axe to grind.

But while the citywide picture remains relatively rosy, certain neighborhoods, after years of declining crime, are more dangerous.

In the neighborhoods that constitute Harlem’s 32nd Precinct, which stretches north from 127th Street, for example, there were 37 shootings through Sept. 24, up from 27 during the same period last year. Gun arrests increased to 83 from 47 during the same time frame. There were 13 homicides in the precinct through Sept. 24, compared with 6 in the same period of 2005.
How about if they get some of the rappers up there to balance things out a bit: “It’s only a song, bro.”

Oh...the rappers have similar problems of their own. Maybe they take their own songs to heart.

“New York has consistently managed to show these are not inexorable tidal forces that you just watch. N.Y.P.D.’s core conviction is that the police can do something about crime if they stay at it.”
But what can they do about popular culture and role models?

September 29th, 2006, 10:50 AM
This phenomenon extends to the hinterlands where I live.

An effect of rap music?

Can’t understand why he’d say this. I’ve seen it, and I’m not a Police Commissioner.

Doesn’t he read his profession’s newsletters?

Oh, I see: he has an axe to grind.

How about if they get some of the rappers up there to balance things out a bit: “It’s only a song, bro.”

Oh...the rappers have similar problems of their own. Maybe they take their own songs to heart.

But what can they do about popular culture and role models?

Crime is not a direct result of rap museum, rather RAP MUSIC is a direct result of the desperate situations these young people end up in. You are talking about very poor and very much uneducated young people, RAP music is a POSITIVE and CONSTRUCTIVE way to coming to terms with their reality. If anything RAP music makes their lives more meaningful and reduces the chances of acting out their feelings with a gun. RAP music provides and OUTLET for majority of young people very much dismissed by society and culture.

Dont ever dare to accuse artists or musicians, or music itself of causing crime or influencing people. If it's not compatible with your cultural assertions does not mean it is bad. Music has been used as a scapegoat for many centuries.

Stalin banned Shostakovich symphonies, Hitler tried to destroy Jewish and folk music. You are doing the same thing when you accuse Rap Music of causing crime. Music NEVER causes anything, it is an expression of a mental state which is caused by the environment of the time.

September 29th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Please expound on the "Don't Snitch (http://blogs.sohh.com/houston/archives/2006/08/lil_troy_slams_scarface_on_new.html)" phenomenon:

After listening to Scarface 's "No Snitching" spiel on songs like "Snitch Nigga," "I Never Snitch," and "The G Code," it's almost unthinkable to even view 'Face as a snitch himself. But, Lil' Troy recently confirmed what one of my boys disclosed to me a couple years ago: Scarface is a snitch.

Now, don't get it all twisted. I still think Brad Jordan is to the south what William Griffin is to hip-hop. I still think The Fix was the last southern rap masterpiece. As a matter of fact, I still think that the whole "No Snitching" campaign is stupid. (Just ask Busta Rhymeswho recently got busted for not snitching.)

Still, Troy might have a solid argument on his DVD, Paperwork. His evidence? A four-page affidavit of Scarface introducing his friend to cops as a coke supplier. Troy was recently interviewed about these claims:

"It's a brief DVD about the rapper Scarface. Me and Scarface been going at it for a long time. I've been letting him get away with a lot of stuff, and now it's time for me to retaliate. Scarface is on a four page affidavit introducing his friends to the [police] as a cocaine supplier. They call Scarface by his government name, Brad Jordan. The guy who went to federal penitentiary for six years is on my DVD talking about it. And Scarface has misled the people that he's a real gangsta, hardcore street rapper when he has otherwise violated the G-code. And the public demands to know this. Everyone who've been calling over to Scarface, he won't answer any of the allegations. A lot of magazines won't report this 'cause they don�t want to think that Scarface is a rat." (Source (http://www.allhiphop.com/features/?ID=1491))I don't want to speculate on whether or not those documents are fabricated. I imagine that Troy -- a well respected pioneer -- wouldn't dare stake his reputation by concocting something of this propensity. However, rappers dissing other rappers to climb back in the game is so 80's. Besides, the beef between these two go back to whenever their collaboration, "Same Song," first dropped. Scarface (read: Rap-A-Lot) allegedly sued Lil' Troy for putting that same song on his own album. So, it's bigger than the whole snitching thing.

What are your thoughts on this?

Do you think Face was dropping those "I Never Snitch" songs because he perceived that the truth will eventually come to light?

Is this a publicity stunt from Troy to pave way for a comeback?



profile.myspace.com (http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=89261761)




September 29th, 2006, 12:55 PM
Dont ever dare to accuse artists or musicians, or music itself of causing crime or influencing people.
The purpose of all art is to influence people. That influence has produced vast movements at many times in history.

Taking a smaller view, Charles Bugliosi, who successfully prosecuted Charles Manson, cited Beatles music as a motivator –as did Manson himself.

Here’s a website that discusses that:


The police and DA argued that Manson found sections within the Beatles' song Helter Skelter and within the last book in the Christian Bible, Revelation which he felt referred to a devastating future race war between blacks and whites. By murdering some high-profile people, he expected to trigger the "final days" conflict.

September 30th, 2006, 02:02 PM
The purpose of all art is to influence people. That influence has produced vast movements at many times in history.

Taking a smaller view, Charles Bugliosi, who successfully prosecuted Charles Manson, cited Beatles music as a motivator –as did Manson himself.

Here’s a website that discusses that:


The police and DA argued that Manson found sections within the Beatles' song Helter Skelter and within the last book in the Christian Bible, Revelation which he felt referred to a devastating future race war between blacks and whites. By murdering some high-profile people, he expected to trigger the "final days" conflict.

That's silly, if that a song influences some whacko to go and kill people it's not because there's something wrong with the song, there's something wrong with society and the whacko who it created. If a song was the cause of violence then alot of people would go out and start killing. Most people see a musical act or performance as entertainment and such, not a call to pick up a gun.

You have to deal with the underlying factors that cause crime, such as lack of easily obtained abortion clinics, access to quality education, and a welcoming and proper family environment.

read this book.


September 30th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Don't think the claim was made here that something was "wrong with the song".

Every artist is trying to influence and speak to others -- communication is at the core of art. But whatever the artist's intention might be (i.e.: see blue anew, consider the life of a lovesick historian, jump for joy) the influence that the artist's work has upon the action of others is always an unknown.

December 19th, 2006, 05:49 AM
December 19, 2006
Manhattan: New York Is Safest Big City Again

New York City remained the safest big city in the nation in the first half of 2006, according to city officials who cited an F.B.I. report released yesterday. The report showed a 7.2 percent drop in overall crime compared with the same period a year earlier. In a statement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hailed the results, but added, “There’s more to do, which is why I’ve made stopping the illegal flow of guns into our city a top priority.” Police statistics show that from Jan. 1 through Dec. 10, the number of homicides increased to 551 from 505, a 9.1 percent increase over the same period in 2005, though this year’s tally includes a high number of deaths of crime victims who sustained their injuries long ago. This year’s count includes 33 such deaths, compared with 18 in 2005.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

December 27th, 2006, 08:06 PM
Murders Are Up in New York and Other Cities

Published: December 27, 2006 (http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Murder-Toll.html)
Filed at 5:55 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- After many years of decline, the number of murders climbed this year in New York and many other major U.S. cities, reaching their highest levels in a decade in some places. Among the reasons given: gangs, drugs, the easy availability of illegal guns, a disturbing tendency among young people to pull guns when they do not get the respect they demand, and, in Houston at least, an influx of Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

In New York, where the city reported 579 homicides through Dec. 24 -- a nearly 10 percent increase from the year before -- the spike is mostly the result of an unusually large number of ''reclassified homicides,'' or those involving victims who were shot or stabbed years ago but did not die until this year. Thirty-five such deaths have been added to this year's toll, compared with an annual average of about a dozen.

At the same time, Police Department spokesman Paul Browne noted that this year's total is only slightly higher than last year's 539 homicides -- the city's lowest death toll in more than 40 years.

Browne blamed the rise in part on the availability of guns, particularly weapons from out of state. The city this year sued dozens of out-of-state gun shops that it says are responsible for many of the illegal weapons on the streets of New York.

In Chicago, homicides through the first 11 months of the year were up 3.3 percent compared with the same period in 2005, reversing a four-year decline. A police spokeswoman said gang violence has been a contributing factor.

In New Haven, Conn., there were 23 homicides as of Tuesday, compared with 15 in 2004 and in 2005. Police Chief Francisco Ortiz said that about half of this year's killings involve young people settling disputes with guns instead of fists.

''They're all struggling with this thing about respect and pride,'' Ortiz said. ''It's about respect. It's about revenge. It's about having a reputation. It's about turf and it's about girls.''

Houston police attribute the 15 percent increase in the homicide count to the influx of Katrina evacuees from the Gulf Coast.

''So we expect that to settle,'' Lt. Murray Smith said. ''We're hoping it will go down.''

New Orleans, with its post-Katrina exodus, is the only major U.S. city that saw a sharp decline in the number of homicides. There were 154 in New Orleans this year as of Monday, said police spokesman Sgt. Jeffrey Johnson, down from 210 in 2005. But the city was largely empty during the fall and winter of 2005-06, and even now has only about half of its pre-Katrina population of 455,000.

Some cities, like Cincinnati -- which has had 83 homicides so far, up from 79 in 2005 -- posted their highest numbers ever. Others saw their highest death tolls in years.

Oakland, Calif., had 148 homicides as of Wednesday, up 57 percent from last year and the highest in more than a decade. Philadelphia's 2006 homicide total was 403 as of Wednesday, the first time the number has topped 400 in nearly a decade. There were 380 killings in all of 2005.

Philadelphia officials have struggled all year to reduce the violence. In July, Mayor John F. Street gave a televised address in which pleaded with young people: ''Lay down your weapons. Do it now. Choose education over violence.''

A few cities reported slight decreases in murders. Los Angeles' total was down about 4 percent to 464 homicides through Dec. 23. San Francisco's fell about 15 percent. San Francisco Police Sgt. Steve Mannina said the drop is partly due to increased patrols in violence-prone areas and more overtime approved by the police chief.

The FBI does not release its national crime statistics until several months after the end of the year. The bureau's statistics for the first six months of 2006 showed an increase of 1.4 percent in the number of murders in the first half of 2006 compared with the first six months of 2005.

Andrew Karmen, a criminologist at John Jay College in New York, said that while there are various theories for the drop in murders in New York and other cities in the 1990s, no one knows for sure why it happened. And if they are going up again, no one knows the reason for that, either, he said.

He noted that police departments tend to take credit when the murder rate goes down. ''When crime goes up it will be interesting to see whether they will accept responsibility,'' Karmen said.

December 27th, 2006, 08:11 PM
In New York, where the city reported 579 homicides through Dec. 24 -- a nearly 10 percent increase from the year before -- the spike is mostly the result of an unusually large number of ''reclassified homicides,'' or those involving victims who were shot or stabbed years ago but did not die until this year. Thirty-five such deaths have been added to this year's toll, compared with an annual average of about a dozen.This very subject was written about in a very recent NYT article (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/26/nyregion/26reclass.html).

January 8th, 2008, 10:00 PM
New York Magazine

The Criminal Record

Once again, it was a down year for crime in New York. But that doesn't mean we're some sort of post-crime Utopia just quite yet. A look at what kind of crime persists and why, a thought experiment on how we could make murder disappear completely, the emergence of crime porn, and more.

The Killing of Murder (http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/2008/42603/)

As the homicide rate continues to drop, the impossible beckons: What would it take to go all the way to zero?

Where Murder Won't Go Quietly (http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/2008/42604/)

A new kind of gang is making northeast Brooklyn the deadliest place in the city.

The Bleeding Edge (http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/2008/42606/)

I went looking for an authentic, old-school New York experience, and it found me.

Crime Porn (With Simulated Action) (http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/2008/42607/)

What happens when rising demand for real crime video collides with plummeting crime rates? The media prank Criminals Gone Wild.

What a Safer City Really Looks Like (http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/2008/42608/)

Map in PDF (http://media.nymag.com/docs/08/01/080114crimemaps.pdf)

June 27th, 2009, 03:25 AM
Q. and A. on New York City Murder Data

There is, almost every day, at least one murder in New York City — the current average is roughly 500 killings a year. But of course, no two are the same — neither the lives of the victims nor who they were, nor how they died or where.

The New York Times has produced and put online an interactive database with maps and charts to allow anyone who wants to look at big picture trends, investigate individual neighborhoods, or examine shifts in the demographics of victims and known perpetrators. A few clicks could, for instance, reveal the deadliest blocks in Brooklyn last year. Another will compare them with earlier years.

This project mines public records with additional reporting, and will be updated regularly. This is the combined effort of departments across the newsroom, and has been in the works for more than a year. Those involved include reporters who specialize in databases and develop interactive applications, graphic artists, Web producers, and journalists on the Metro staff.

Murder: New York City 2003-2009 - Interactive Database (http://projects.nytimes.com/crime/homicides/map)


September 18th, 2009, 11:49 PM
New York City crime down 40 percent from same time in '08

BY Rocco Parascandola

September 18th 2009

Crime is still falling in the city, despite tough economic times and a smaller police force stretched thin by counter-terrorism operations.

There was a 12% drop across seven major crime categories - including murder - in the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period last year.

There have been 320 murders so far - about the same number that would have been killed in a two-month span during the height of the crack epidemic.

The NYPD (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City+Police+Department) has taken flak for anti-crime efforts, especially stop-and-frisks, in minority communities - but the department says those areas benefit the most from the resulting reduction in violence.

"If the murder rate stayed where it was in 2001, there would have been 760 additional homicides in New York City (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/New+York+City)," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Ray+Kelly) told a civic group this week.

"History tells us 90% of the victims would have been minorities from low income neighborhoods."

The plunging crime stats are particularly significant given the challenges the NYPD faces: a shrinking force, budget cuts, and anti-terror programs that take 1,000 officers a day from other crime-fighting.

There are still problem spots. Assaults were up slightly citywide, and murders in East Harlem (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Harlem)'s 23rd Precinct shot up to seven from two last year.

East New York (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/East+New+York)'s 75th Precinct saw a murder surge, too: 16, up from 11 last year. The neighborhood, which traditionally has led the city in murders, is a target of Operation Impact, which floods a crime-prone area with uniformed rookies.

Citywide, the murder rate has dropped nearly 15% this year, and it's likely that by year's end, the number will be around 450.

That's well below the total of 497 recorded two years ago, which at the time represented the lowest number since the NYPD started tracking the category in 1963. Before then, murders were often not recorded until an arrest had been made.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2009/09/18/2009-09-18_new_york_city_crime_down_40_percent_from_same_t ime_in_08_.html

September 26th, 2009, 12:47 PM
Today. Mass arrests!!

Tourists need to be more aware that the knock-off handbags and sunglasses are illegal and when they buy them they are supporting organized crime.

September 26th, 2009, 04:21 PM
Deputize me and I'll help the City get a lot more of those ladies-from-out-of-town-looking-for-"Designer"-bags under control :cool:

(among other folks)

September 26th, 2009, 05:06 PM
What do you have in mind?

September 26th, 2009, 06:44 PM
I'd start with the illegal street vendors outside my building. Write 'em tickets every 10 minutes so that it's no longer worth their while.

September 27th, 2009, 11:06 PM
Two funny stories on this:

1) My firm occasionally invites different kinds of vendors into our lobby to hawk their crap to employees. Last year, they had a bunch of the guys who sell the counterfeit 'designer' bags, etc. This was pretty outrageous, given that the clothing/apparel companies that make the real stuff are big clients of ours. Anyway, I remarked to my boss' secretary about the irony of this in passing; she hadn't seen them earlier, but put in a call to some higher-ups, and the counterfeiters were removed instantly. The higher-ups, she later told me, were more than a little concerned that this might leak out and cause big-time damage with the clothing/apparel clients.

2) From time to time the illegal vendors set up shop outside my office. I noticed once that one of them had an earpiece/microphone and was speaking into the mic. Within moments, he bundled up his stuff and disappeared around the corner. Shortly after, two cops on the beat walked by. As soon as they passed, the vendor returned. I caught up with the cops and told them that there were vendors with earpieces on the lookout for them and asked if they knew those guys were aware of where they were. They smiled, said, "Yeah, we know exactly who's working this corner. They won't be in business much longer," and walked off. I can't remember seeing any counterfeiters since then.

September 28th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Now, i agree that people should not be making money off of other people's work, but the thing that annoys me is when people buy NOT for craftsmanship, practicality, or even that (in my mind) lame appelation of "style", but just to buy a name.

LV would be a classic example.

If the bags did not COST $500+ to buy in a store, people would not want to BUY a knock off.

How many fake pairs of Keds do you see being sold? Timex watches? JCPenny Handbags?

I can appreciate a well crafted, good looking, well designed piece of apparel, electronics, or other item, but when people start making money off a name, and a name alone, I have very little sympathy for them when others are making money off of their name and not off of their product.

September 28th, 2009, 04:39 PM
I think the real issue is the right to intellectual property. If that right doesn't exist, then inventors/innovators have little incentive to sink money into creating something new.

Why? Because they'll be undercut by copycats who didn't need to fund the R&D, market studies, etc., and can therefore turn the same profit margins at a lower price. You look at Russia, China or any other place where intellectual property rights don't exist, and see how many great homegrown companies and innovations come out of there.

The victims of counterfeiters aren't some class of snob who wants an expensive label; it's first and foremost the people who sink money into creating something new, whether it's a new handbag design or a computer program or a song. When they can't get any return on their investment because somebody's pirating it, they'll generally be smart enough not to keep wasting time and money on innovating. At that point, we all miss out on the "what ifs" that never come into fruition.

September 29th, 2009, 09:15 AM
I think the real issue is the right to intellectual property. If that right doesn't exist, then inventors/innovators have little incentive to sink money into creating something new.

That sits fine with me for things that have actual value, not the latest in a series of fashion accessories whose only purpose it to look different.

TBH, the bags are fugly. They match nothing and are not handy in any way. The only purpose they have in this world is to let others know how much you spent on it.

Why? Because they'll be undercut by copycats who didn't need to fund the R&D, market studies, etc., and can therefore turn the same profit margins at a lower price. You look at Russia, China or any other place where intellectual property rights don't exist, and see how many great homegrown companies and innovations come out of there.

So you are saying Nike should be entitled to make its sneakers in China because of all the R+D they did, but China does not have the rights to Nikke? ;)

The victims of counterfeiters aren't some class of snob who wants an expensive label; it's first and foremost the people who sink money into creating something new, whether it's a new handbag design or a computer program or a song.

You are skirting right around the topic. Is LV a company that needs this? How much did they plunk down in the "invention" of the handbag. Don't bring up the poor single mother of 7 that invented the hip bag that charges your cell phone from body motion as the spokesperson for the industry at large.

Again, if LV sold their bags for what they were WORTH, not what they were valued at, nobody would buy a fake for $50 when they could get the real thing for $70.

When they can't get any return on their investment because somebody's pirating it, they'll generally be smart enough not to keep wasting time and money on innovating. At that point, we all miss out on the "what ifs" that never come into fruition.

Yeah, what a shame. What would we do without the latest in Fashion trends? Wear the same clothes we wore LAST YEAR??!? *shudder*

September 29th, 2009, 10:16 AM
If full ownership of a brand is not protected by copyright then fraud abounds. The very fact that counterfeiters knock off the upscale brands is proof of their value.

September 29th, 2009, 10:33 AM
Rather than single fashion out as something that "we," or the state, thinks is inherently worthless, extending intellectual rights to any innovation deemed proprietary (as is currently done) seems to work well.

It seems a messy proposition to put the government in charge of determining which industries are "of value" to people and which aren't. It'd probably result in lots of pork (remember, thanks to politicians courting the votes of the large Portuguese-American community in southern Massachusetts, Americans of Portuguese descent are today considered minorities) and arbitrary, messy definitions.

Maybe the typical LV handbag doesn't do much for scientific progress, but I wouldn't say that fashion as an industry is entirely incapable of producing any meaningful innovations ... and I wouldn't take the bet that it isn't by denying it the right to intellectual property!

September 30th, 2009, 01:33 PM
If full ownership of a brand is not protected by copyright then fraud abounds. The very fact that counterfeiters knock off the upscale brands is proof of their value.

Not by my definition.

Value = Absolute usability for other than purley cosmetic or stature. Having a bag that is ugly and impractical (not a good size for anything, weird pockets that are too large or small for what they are needed, etc).

Worth = $$ amount for whatever reason.

To me buying an LV is like buying a TV with only 2 colors just because it says "Sony". (Which, surprisingly, is not far off the mark...*cough*BOSE*cough*)

September 30th, 2009, 07:37 PM
Then don't buy it :cool:

The LV look / style / logo clearly have a value as is demonstrated by the market.

October 1st, 2009, 05:21 AM

^ The LV logo pattern and colors have been unchanged since the late 1800's.

The genuine articles are exquisitely made, they last forever and many retain and increase their value... there is a good market for used and vintage LV articles.

The company employs genuine craftsman and uses old style production methods. If you know fine things you can spot a fake LV from a mile away.

We should be complianing about all of the throw-away junk that floods the market... not about Louis Vuitton.

Vintage LV bags for sale:


"Since the 19th century, manufacture of Louis Vuitton goods have not changed: Luggage is still made by hand. Contemporary Fashion (edited by Richard Martin) gives a preview of the creation of the LV trunks: "the craftsmen line up the leather and canvas, tapping in the tiny nails one by one and securing the five-letter solid pick-proof brass locks with an individual handmade key, designed to allow the traveler to have only one key for all of his or her luggage. The woven frames of each trunk are made of 30-year-old poplar that has been allowed to dry for at least four years. Each trunk has a serial number and can take up to 60 hours to make, and a suitcase as many as 15 hours."

"Many of the company's products utilize the signature brown Damier and Monogram Canvas materials, both of which were first used in the late 19th century. All of the company's products exhibit the eponymous LV initials."

About the value of the brand:

"The Louis Vuitton Brand and the famous LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands. According to a Millward Brown 2009 study, Louis Vuitton is the world's 29th most valuable brand, right after AT&T and before HSBC. The brand itself is estimated to be worth USD 19.395 billion."


October 1st, 2009, 09:11 AM
We should be complianing about all of the throw-away junk that floods the market... not about Louis Vuitton.

LV is only being discussed here because it's one of many luxury brands that folks want to possess for cheap. LV knock-offs of all sorts are available to be bought out of suitcases and big black bags all around Canal Street. NYPD spends huge amounts of money to try and keep the counterfeiters under control.

Yesterday NYPD's "Eye in the Sky" took up position right in the heart of knock-off row on Canal Street ...


October 1st, 2009, 09:43 AM

A bag like this could last forever and I would still think it was ugly and impractical.

A cinder-block is also quite durable (if you do not drop it, that is) but it does not mean I will strap a handle to it and carry it around town! ;)

Fab, the bag you showed is a legacy piece. Something that established the name. Now they use the name as the selling point in and of itself.

Here's the irony, "Making a name" has always been considered a valid business practice. You make a good product, you get a name, people trust that name and believe that it is an affidavit of the quality of the product w/o any further proof.

But what is also true is that many manufacturers depend more on name than actual substance. Ford, Sony and BOSE are three examples. Fords classic 1950's vehicles and trucks, Sony's old V's and VCR's (and don't forget the original Walkman) and BOSE's Waverunner clock radio set them as companies to watch, but instead of keeping their design standards to the level that achieved their status, they hyped the price and lowered the quality to what the market would bear.

Ford has paid the price, but it took 30 or so years for it to happen.

Now with things like apparel and fashion it gets tricky, as clothing rarely addresses the practicality of any function these days. Women have pants with pockets that can't fit anything, handbags that range from pup-tents to miniature cell phone cases, and shoes that even De Sade would look at and opt for something more humane.

When luggage needed to be slung on a coach, or piled on a train, durability and security were musts, and that is what established brands like LV. Expensive, durable and stylish.

But now? That bag itself has no other purpose than to be "LV". It is not practical or attractive in any significant way, and the ultimate irony of handbags is, the more durable it is, the longer it will remain obsolete when the trend shifts.

Proof that people want a product for the name and status is the fact that you CAN sell a cheap product with the name on it, AND PEOPLE WILL STILL BUY IT EVEN THOUGH THEY KNOW IT IS A FAKE!

It is one thing to be sold something that claims it is something it is not, but when something never says it is, we are talking something different.

These people are buying the paint on the house without checking the foundation. They don't care if it falls apart in a few years, they didn't buy it to LIVE in it, just to drive their friends and family by to show them what they got.....

Besides, do these fakes REALLY cut into the sales of their bags? Really? You think anyone buying a $50 fake has the cash for a $500 original? The people that would buy the $500 original usually would not want to be "caught" with a fake either. So what's the hubub, bub?

The only thing I can't stand is the vendors themselves and the fact that there IS such a vain desire for the name that they can make a living off of it.

October 1st, 2009, 10:20 AM
Knock-offs: in a way it's free advertising for a company like LV, Gucci, Prada and so on. There are those who say that it actually adds to the brand's prestige: if you have a brand that no one knocks-off, it's because it's not as desirable.

A friend of mine owns a few Fendi shops here in Italy: he claims Fendi produces their own knock-offs... cashing in on the phenomena.


Ninja wrote: "now they use the name as the selling point in and of itself."

"But now? That bag itself has no other purpose than to be "LV". It is not practical or attractive in any significant way, and the ultimate irony of handbags is, the more durable it is, the longer it will remain obsolete when the trend shifts."

The LV logo and brown color bags have been prestige symbols since forever. The classic soft bags that LV sells today have not been changed in decades. I remember wealthy women friends of mine coveting them 30 years ago... and they were outrageously expensive back then too.

The multi-coloured special edition bags done by Mark Jacobs and so on are becoming collectors items. That combined with impeccable workmanship is something good.

The bags BTW are perfectly practical. I've never heard a woman claiming them to be impractical.


October 1st, 2009, 01:40 PM
Why would any woman that spent that much money on a handbag ever admit they were wrong in buying it? ;)

April 12th, 2010, 05:43 AM
A Rise in Violent Crime Evokes City’s Unruly Past


Teenagers flashing knives in a spate of high school stabbings. Two men murdered in a brawl aboard a downtown No. 2 subway train. Four people shot and 33 others arrested in late-night melees in Times Square that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg described with a loaded term from the past: “wilding.”

It is impossible to know if the recent increase in violent crime in the city is legitimate cause for concern that the “bad old days” of crime may return, or if it simply represents a blip in a trend line continuing a descent of nearly two decades.

Homicides are up nearly 22 percent in 2010, compared with the same period last year.

Shootings are up in the city, to 293 from 257, a 14 percent increase. And there are more victims of gunfire: 351 through April 4, up from 318 in the same period a year ago.

But it is not statistics, but rather the tenor and pace of 2010’s spasm of disorder that are suggestive of a bygone era, and have again raised questions about whether New York City is finally at the end of crime declines.

Add to this a depleted police headcount — and city and state budgets that remain stubbornly unsolved — and crime is suddenly a political hammer: The mayor is lobbying for money from Albany, and state lawmakers are pleading poverty even as they try to close a $9.2 billion budget gap and serve the needs of constituencies from Buffalo to Bridgehampton.

Last week, after hordes of young people swarmed Times Square in what has evolved in recent years into a violent Easter night ritual, the mayor used a term popularized in 1989 when a Central Park jogger was brutally attacked, emblematic of an era when crime in the city was at its apex. That followed comments he made in March when he called the uptick in homicides “worrisome,” and decried, “We have fewer police officers on the streets than we did before.”

His choice of words was significant for a mayor who typically gives little credence to minor fluctuations in data. But the posturing is laced with a degree of caution, as city officials strive to sound the alarms of budget cuts while at the same time assuring the public that the streets remain as safe as they have ever been.

Addressing a radio audience on Sunday, Mr. Bloomberg said that since 2001, overall crime was down 40 percent, murder was down 35 percent and subway crime was down nearly by half.

Under the governor’s and the Senate’s budget proposals, the city would lose roughly $1.3 billion, and a little more than half of that under the Assembly’s plan. The mayor warned in January that the governor’s proposal would force the Police Department to lay off 3,150 officers, bringing the force down to same level it was in 1985. He backed off that statement last week, saying on his weekly radio program that the city was “not going to lay off cops.”

Nonetheless, the police force has been shrinking steadily, from a high of 40,285 officers in 2000, to about 35,600 last year.

Even if the cuts in the governor’s proposal were fully restored, the department’s uniformed count is still on course to drop below 33,000 through attrition by July 2011, its lowest level since 1990, when it had 32,441 officers, including housing and transit police before the departments were merged.

That was the year murders in the city peaked at 2,245, making it one of the nation’s top murder capitals. Not only is the force smaller, but it is also being pulled in more directions, with roughly 1,000 officers on counterterrorism duty. The department devotes cars and resources to a critical response team and to provide a presence near potential terrorist targets, though those resources can be redeployed to areas with elevated crime.

Some officials worry the city is already slipping toward its lawless past.

“What is the tipping point?” said Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. “How low can you go, in actual police numbers? And I think what these statistics say, and these other incidents say, especially those who have been around the city all our lives, is we may have tipped a little.”

Mr. Stringer added that for the first time in a long time he is hearing from constituents who do not feel safe in the subways or the streets. A string of six stabbings involving high school students over a few days last month, along with a subway brawl that left two people dead and the Easter night mayhem in Times Square have helped stoke those fears.

But perceptions about crime and safety are often more potent than reality. Criminologists long have warned against using statistics selectively, to study trends in crime over short time periods — say, less than six months’ worth of data — because such analyses can lead to faulty portrayals.

For instance, the murder rate is up this year, because of increased numbers of killings in the first three months of the year, but the rate is in no way near its peak.

Through April 4, there were 118 homicides recorded, up from 97 in the same period a year earlier, for a 21.6 percent increase. But through March, the tally for the year was still lower than it was in the first three months of 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 — all low crime years.

“Crime is down, last year, down to record lows,” said Raymond W. Kelly, the city’s police commissioner. “We’ve seen an increase in murders. Obviously that’s a cause for concern. But if we stayed at this level of murders — we know it does go up seasonally — but if we stayed at this level of murders, 1.25 a day, we’d have a record low year. So it puts it in some sort of context as to where we are. The city has become much, much safer.”

“So, we’ve had some high-profile events,” Mr. Kelly added. “That’s going to happen in a big city like this, but it’s important to keep it in context.”

Still, violent crime this year is rising across several categories, even though the overall crime rate in the city’s 76 police precincts is showing a decrease of 2.3 percent. Rapes have increased to 324 as of April 4, from 277 in the same period a year ago; robberies are flat, at 4,477 each year; felony assaults have risen to 3,836 from 3,707.

Statewide, crime is also ticking up slightly in the major jurisdictions outside New York City so far this year, rising 1.4 percent through February in the state’s so-called impact zones, which account for 80 percent of the crime outside of the city. But the spike, driven by an increase in January, “appears to be more an anomaly than a trend,” said John M. Caher, a spokesman for the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, particularly since crime is down in February.

Still, statistically important or not, it means more municipalities competing with New York City for state money.

“I think there is going to be a lot of hurt around the state and in the city,” said State Senator Martin J. Golden, a Republican from Brooklyn and a retired city police officer, who said he understood the need for more officers. “I don’t see an alternative. Spending has to stop.”

For the municipalities requesting money, he said, that will mean “some tough choices.”


July 15th, 2010, 09:08 AM
Crime rate for the first half of this year is significantly up over the same period in 2009, but not to the extent as when the above article was published. March was especially violent.

Through July 4 2010, murder up 12.3%, rape 12.7%. There was a large drop in 2009, and the rate this year is lower than 2008, so 2009 may have been an anomaly.

If these numbers hold throughout the year, people will be watching 2011 to see if a trend develops.

compstat (http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cscity.pdf)

July 15th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Proof that people want a product for the name and status is the fact that you CAN sell a cheap product with the name on it, AND PEOPLE WILL STILL BUY IT EVEN THOUGH THEY KNOW IT IS A FAKE!

I'm not going to debate the merits of your post in general, but I'd like to point out something about this part of your statement. The people who buy the fakes and the people who buy the originals are not the same people. Never. Not once.

It's like comparing someone who goes to an art auction to buy a rare painting with someone who goes to art.com to buy a poster of the same painting.

Different people, different products, different reasons for buying them.

Edit: I now notice that this was a really old thread/post that got necroed recently.

July 15th, 2010, 10:43 AM
Ken, I wasn't saying that.

Here's the bottom line. Rich people buy something based on the impression it will give. There are MANY examples of this. The name matters to them, in some cases, more than what they are actually buying.

That frames the importance humans place on appearance and image. The perception of the item being more important than its function or construction.

That being the case, other people ALSO want this. They cannot afford it. They buy a cheap imitation of it, not for the quality of construction, function or use, but for the APPEARANCE.

Our society (and human beings in general) have this warped sense of value that feeds on it. If people valued the construction of an item more than its outer appearance or the image they believe it conveys, there would not be a market for fakes.

It is just a shame that we do not buy on the "quality" scale with these things. But, I guess, how important is it to have a "well constructed, ergonomically functional" handbag?

July 15th, 2010, 10:44 AM
I also think this was thread-merged with one from Sherpa...... ;)

April 11th, 2013, 04:27 PM
The homicide rate did trend up in 2011 to over 500 for the year, but dropped significantly in 2012 to 417, the lowest level in 40 years.

So far for the first quarter of 2013, homicides are down 26.6% compared to the first quarter of 2012. If that rate continues, NYC will have recorded 306 homicides for the year.


Most homicides occur at night, the peak between 11PM and 1:30AM.

April 11th, 2013, 07:42 PM
It's been a cold winter. We need a graph, correlating temperatures to crime.

April 11th, 2013, 08:35 PM
Jan-Mar of this year hasn't been especially cold; it's similar to 2011. The winter of 2012 was unusually warm.

If you use the argument that the rate decreased this year because it has been colder than 2012, it fails when you try to explain the big decrease from 2011 to 2012 when it was warmer.

April 12th, 2013, 05:19 AM
Anecdotal, I can't substantiate this but I remember reading in the Times during one of our big three day cold snaps, crime dropped.

April 12th, 2013, 09:45 AM
I don't think that's statistically meaningful over three months. And we're talking about homicide. Total crime was about the same as last year.

April 12th, 2013, 09:56 AM
Temperature - violent crime is often tracked by the discomfort index, temp + humidity. It's a summer thing, I guess where "the long hot summer" originated. Stress is higher, so the chance of violent confrontations is greater.

April 12th, 2013, 10:08 AM
But you can also think of it as kind of a fluid low.

One week of cold will not get rid of the desire (or need) for things such as robbery. A longer period of cold might make a difference.

Also, long periods of being cooped up inside will lead to more instances of domestic conflict and violence. Cabin Fever.


December 11th, 2013, 04:08 PM
NYPD interactive map reveals city's most dangerous areas

The online map shows the timing and location of crimes by month, allowing research into the patterns of crime across the five boroughs.

By Tina Moore (http://wirednewyork.com/authors?author=Tina Moore) / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, December 9, 2013, 4:58 AM


The darker the precinct, the more crime per thousand people is committed. Since January, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Times Square have experienced most crime since January.

The NYPD released a new online, interactive map (http://maps.nyc.gov/crime) Sunday that allows users to research major crime across the city.
The map plots the time and location of crimes by month, and for the current and prior year.


A comparison of this map based on 2010 Census Information and the newly released interactive crime map from the NYPD shows that shootings and murders are more prevalent in poorer neighborhoods of New York

People can search the map by address, ZIP code or police precinct.


As a whole, Manhattan suffers greater crime than many parts of the other four boroughs.

“With unprecedented population levels, New York City is safer than ever, with homicides on pace this year to fall below recent historic lows,” NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement. “This administration has relied on data to drive its crimefighting, and this map helps enhance New Yorkers’ and researchers’ understanding of where felony and violent crime persists.”

The crime-mapping website was mandated by city law earlier this year and created by the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.


With an average of nearly 26 crimes per 1,000 residents, Precinct 41 in The Bronx has proved to be one of the most dangerous parts of the city.

Crime statistics by precinct have been available on the NYPD’s website since 2003 and are updated weekly. The site is at maps.nyc.gov/crime (http://maps.nyc.gov/crime/).


Harlem shows a large number of robberies between January and October.

But the data posted online previously did not show locations of crimes and were broken down by precinct and patrol borough.
The map only lists the incidents by the type of crime, which falls into the seven major crime categories - murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto.


Much of Brooklyn and Staten Island are relatively free from serious crime.

The NYPD does not release information about misdemeanor crime in the city.
With Joe Kemp

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/nypd-map-reveals-city-dangerous-areas-article-1.1541887#ixzz2nCcisOq7

January 3rd, 2014, 11:03 AM
New Commissioner Details Plans For NYPD

Newly appointed Commissioner Bill Bratton yesterday offered fresh details into his plans for the NYPD. He said he'd begin with repairing the relationship of the police force and the community (http://politicker.com/2014/01/bratton-takes-oath-vowing-to-repair-relations-with-those-alienated-by-nypd/). Officers would be reminded that they are dealing with a human being (http://www.gothamgazette.com/) when engaging in stop-and-frisk, and to do so in a constitutional manner. Additional oversight (http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140102/civic-center/bill-bratton-sworn-as-nypd-commissioner) of the police was welcomed. Operation Impact (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/nyregion/bratton-stands-before-police-force-with-a-mandate-for-change.html), a program flooding high crime neighborhoods with rookie cops that results in numerous stops, would be curbed. But Operation Crew Cut (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303370904579296930846785414), an initiative aimed at youth gangs, would be expanded. John Miller, a news anchor and former head of the LAPD's counterterrorism bureau, was appointed as the NYPD's counter-terrorism chief (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bratton-taps-cbs-john-miller-counter-terror-post-article-1.1564576). Bratton said he would continue sending officers overseas (http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/01/8538202/bratton-open-keeping-nypd-overseas) despite the high price tag and lack of success in developing leads on potential attacks in New York. He also reiterated his commitment to an intensive focus on traffic issues in order to reduce fatalities (http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/01/02/de-blasio-bill-bratton-swearing-in-vision-zero-traffic-safety/).

© Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation

January 3rd, 2014, 02:55 PM
NYPD made a big show in the skies over our fair city just after midnight on New Years Day ...

One of their big black helicopters, with mega-spotlight shining, did multiple loop-de-loops over the rooftops down this way, with no apparent purpose but to let folks know that they were up there (the spotlight wasn't aimed anywhere in particular, but was spilling across building facades and sidewalks). The thump thump thump of the propellors was really loud and ominous, seemingly saying, "Progressives Be Warned." After about 15 minutes of figure eights in the sky it disappeared into the dark.

Maybe it was Kelly's Last Stand :cool:

Or perhaps it was Bratton taking a first look around :confused:

But given his still-needed security clearance (http://politicker.com/2014/01/bill-bratton-doesnt-have-access-to-room-at-nypd-headquarters/) I doubt it was the new Commissioner up above.

April 30th, 2014, 09:18 PM
Didn't know where else to post this ...

But so much for blaming the Unions for outrageous cost of construction in NYC:

Construction Firm Admits to Defrauding Customers by Falsely Inflating Bills

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/nyregion/structure-tone-admits-to-stealing-tens-of-millions-from-clients.html?ref=nyregion)
April 30, 2014

Structure Tone, one of the nation’s largest construction firms, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to corruption charges and agreed to forfeit $55 million for a scheme in which the company defrauded a roster of prominent financial institutions, law firms and ad agencies out of tens of millions of dollars.

The company arranged for electrical, plumbing, drywall and other subcontractors to falsely inflate their bills for Structure Tone’s clients, investigators say, adding millions of dollars to the cost of building office space for Bank of America; Moody’s; Bloomberg; Proskauer Rose, a law firm; and other major customers between 2005 and 2009.

The plea is part of the latest scandal to erupt in the largely hidden but vastly lucrative business of designing and building the walls and guts of corporate towers in New York City, an industry in which corruption often adds to the already high cost for developers, law enforcement officials say. The continuing investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office has resulted in guilty pleas or convictions against six other companies and at least half a dozen executives.

For Structure Tone, the plea hearing in State Supreme Court in Manhattan was a replay of a past scandal involving interior construction contractors. In 1998, the company paid $10 million and pleaded guilty to felony charges related to its role in a $2 billion bid-rigging and bribery scheme involving Sony Corporation and other high-profile companies.

But despite its checkered past, Structure Tone, the largest interior construction firm in the city’s $29 billion construction industry, continues to thrive; Sony recently hired the company to build its new New York headquarters on Madison Avenue.

“Interiors construction is a multibillion-dollar industry in New York City and is vital to our city’s economy,” the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., said in a statement. “Structure Tone’s felony plea and forfeiture of $55 million — one of the largest forfeiture penalties ever imposed on a construction company — sends a clear message that this type of criminal activity will not be tolerated. This plea agreement addresses the severity of Structure Tone’s criminal conduct, while taking into consideration the remedial actions the company has implemented.”

Mr. Vance said the construction industry “should be on alert.”

“We are rooting out fraud,” he added, “and making sure that honest businesses can compete fairly.”

Structure Tone officials said that they were satisfied to have the matter resolved and that the case would not affect the company’s ability to work on current and future projects. It pleaded guilty to a single count of falsifying business records in the first degree.

“The record-keeping issues, which form the basis of this agreement, date back to the period 2005 to 2009, and we have fully cooperated with authorities from the beginning,” Structure Tone said in a statement. “The financial position of our company — which generates $3 billion annually in revenue — continues to be strong. Long before this process began, we strengthened our compliance protocols to improve transparency.”

Structure Tone was not the only interior contractor to emerge relatively intact from the investigation. Robert N. Bennis, an executive who went to prison briefly for his role as a kingpin in the bid-rigging scheme, is now in charge of Condé Nast’s move (http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/10/nyregion/conde-nast-rehires-consultant-who-was-convicted-of-bribery.html) from Midtown to 1 World Trade Center.

In the current case, David Szuchman, the district attorney’s chief of investigations, said Structure Tone had falsified business records that allowed it to reap “tens of millions of dollars from easily dozens of companies,” by inflating purchase orders over the five-year course of the scheme.

Mr. Szuchman said the scheme ended in 2010 after Structure Tone became aware of the investigation. Although the company has since taken remedial action to avoid illegal practices, he said his office would monitor the company’s business records for the next three years to ensure that there was no wrongdoing.

After pleading guilty in 1998, Structure Tone said it worried that its reputation would be forever stained. The company was the largest beneficiary of the bribery and bid-rigging, having admitted to paying a bribe to ensure that it won a $500 million contract to renovate Sony’s former headquarters. Nearly three dozen companies and 40 executives pleaded guilty.

Thomas D. Thacher III, a former prosecutor who led the Construction Industry Strike Force (http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/11/nyregion/team-of-100-will-battle-building-industry-graft.html), a state unit investigating corruption and racketeering, described the second conviction of Structure Tone as “déjà vu all over again” for one of the most successful companies in the construction industry.

“The opportunities to steal and the incentives to cheat are so huge in construction that fraud has always threatened every single building project in our city,” said Mr. Thacher, chief executive of Thacher Associates, which provides a monitoring service for companies engaged in construction projects. “Corruption adds many, many hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost of construction each year in this city, and that cost is passed on to the public.”

Structure Tone specializes in building office space, or interior construction, as opposed to erecting the core and shell of a skyscraper. In some instances, it acts as a construction manager for a firm, overseeing the work, negotiating contracts and hiring subcontractors, on behalf of a corporate client.

On other jobs, the company serves as a general contractor hired to perform the work for a fixed price, or “lump sum.”

According to investigators, when Structure Tone acted as a construction manager it would tell subcontractors to raise their prices to account for unnecessary “contingencies” under an addendum known as “Rider B,” whose existence was never revealed to the client. At the same time, the executives would demand a discount from subcontractors on “lump sum” contracts.

“Rider B was the vehicle for the fraud,” Mr. Szuchman said.

The district attorney’s current investigation began in 2009, with the Builders Group, a firm that was eventually indicted on a charge of stealing $7 million from clients at five condominium and office projects in New York.

The company, as well as three executives, ultimately pleaded guilty, and the company is no longer in business.

Months later, investigators raided the offices of Lehr Construction, another prominent firm that had been implicated in the 1998 bid-rigging scheme (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/nyregion/four-lehr-construction-executives-charged-with-fraud.html).

As a result of information gleaned from a second set of business records discovered at the home of a Lehr executive, the district attorney’s office began interviewing 100 subcontractors about fake invoices and inflated bills.

Many of the subcontractors provided information about not only Lehr, but also Structure Tone and other companies.

The district attorney subsequently won convictions against Lehr and three of its top executives.

Structure Tone denied charges of corruption during a series of meetings and produced a series of presentations about its business. It hired lawyers and public relations consultants.

But on Wednesday, Structure Tone pleaded guilty to falsifying business records and paid one of the largest forfeiture penalties ever imposed on a construction company.

“However they want to spin it,” said J. Bruce Maffeo, a former federal prosecutor who has represented subcontractors in the construction industry, “$55 million is still a lot of money, even in this town.”

September 2nd, 2014, 09:54 PM
Susan Donovan · Top Commenter · Bronx, New York I hate to be the "math teacher" but if the Bronx and Manhattan are 22 by RANK and Dallas is 5 it is not proper to say that the Bronx is ___ times safer because the ranks are not the same as absolute crime rates so a ratio of ranks makes no sense.
But beyond that this article makes an excellent point!

Senator Ted Cruz, Republican From Texas Bashes Bronx Yet Our Borough Is Safer Than 3 Largest Cities In Texas

by Ed García Conde

Tea Party Republic Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, in an attempt to mock Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, bashed The Bronx as a dangerous place when he said, according to Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/nyc-politicians-slam-ted-cruz-for-bashing-the-bronx-2014-8), “Now, I understand that Manhattan is very concerned with their security with the Bronx, but it’s a little bit different on 2,000 miles of the Rio Grande.” Senator Cruz said these remarks during a meeting of the conservative Americans For Prosperity’s Defending The American Dream Summit in Dallas, Texas. Guess he doesn’t know his own state and that The Bronx is safer than its 3 largest cities. Here’s a little lesson for you, Senator Cruz, courtesy of a little digging Welcome2TheBronx did:

The following is data compiled by the FBI via their Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics utilizing the latest dataset as well as data from the NYPD for The Bronx:

Crime Rate of The Bronx vs Dallas and Houston

http://www.welcome2thebronx.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Untitled-9.jpg (http://www.welcome2thebronx.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Untitled-9.jpg)

Violent Crime Stats as of 2012

As you can see from the data Dallas, which was the location of the meeting where Senator Ted Cruz made his disparaging remarks about The Bronx, has a much higher murder rate and almost double the incidents of rape. In the robbery and assault categories, The Bronx and Dallas are roughly on par with The Bronx slightly higher in those categories. Houston’s crime rate is also significantly higher across all major violent crime categories.

Crime has continued to drop in all the above cities but The Bronx is still ahead of the game with a murder rate of 5.9 and 16.7 rapes per 100,000 population according to NYPD stats for 2013. Also now that crime stats from Riker’s Island will no longer be counted with The Bronx (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/rikers-crime-stats-separated-south-bronx-precinct-article-1.1905395), you can expect the numbers to drop even more drastically for our borough.

Furthermore, the popular data site, Neighborhoodscout.com (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/) (used by such sites as The Huffington Post, The New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal) lists the Bronx as safer than Dallas and Houston. In fact. NeighborhoodScout gives The Bronx a rating of 22 out of 100 (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ny/bronx/crime/) (100 being the safest) with Dallas receiving 3 out of 100 (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/dallas/crime/), Houston 5 out of 100 (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/houston/crime/), and San Antonio got a 3 out of 100 (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/san-antonio/crime/) making our borough over 7 times safer than Dallas and San Antonio and over 5 times safer than Houston — all 3 which are the largest cities in Texas with a population of over 1 million.

Oh and here’s another little interesting tid-bit: Manhattan received the same rating of 22 out of 100 from NeighborhoodScout (http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ny/new-york/crime/) as The Bronx. And according to an article by the Huffington Post last year, Brooklyn was actually the bloodiest borough far ahead of The Bronx (http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3035372) (interesting how media spins and age old stereotypes continue to portray The Bronx as the worst of all).


September 3rd, 2014, 11:37 AM
A simple way to get a real-world view of how homicide rates in other places would translate to NYC:

Multiply the rate by 84 (total population divided by 100,000).

If NYC were Dallas, we would have 1042 homicides per year.

Hello 1997.