As seen in the Daily News.
After the end of the stop-question-frisk wars, the anger over Eric Garner’s death, the sometimes violent anti-cop protests and the back-turning after the assassinations of Officer Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, Bill Bratton says the NYPD is in “a very good place at this time.”
It was a supremely upbeat and optimistic police commissioner who appeared Wednesday before the Daily News Editorial Board with a preliminary unveiling of his “plan of action” for America’s largest police force.
With crime near record lows despite upticks in murder and shootings, Bratton envisions a New York that is still safer while being patrolled by a larger force that makes fewer arrests, issues fewer summonses and stops fewer people while still adhering to broken-windows policing.
Holy magic, Batman!
Bratton’s strategy is based in part on the assumption that New Yorkers as a group have been acculturated over the past 20 years to engaging in less crime and disorder, thus allowing for a lighter hand in contacts between cops and citizens.
Invoking a term born after the fall of the Soviet Union allowed for cuts in Pentagon spending, the commissioner said the city’s more law-abiding nature would produce “a peace dividend” of reduced friction between cops and community.
Still, he made clear that civilization as the city has come to know it could easily slip away. The answer, he said, would be a greater focus on targeted enforcement, often aided by a marked increase in the NYPD’s technological capabilities.
Most stunningly, Bratton predicted that the NYPD would have as many as 1 million fewer law enforcement contacts with people this year than it did just a few years ago. He attributed the decline primarily to reducing stops from almost 700,000 to roughly 30,000 and markedly cutting marijuana arrests and summonses.
Read more in the Daily News [here].