The Big Apple’s new top cop on how to protect citizens from both street crime and terrorism.
(Wall Street Journal) When James O’Neill first put on the blue uniform and gold badge of law enforcement, it was 1983, and he was a rookie with the New York City Transit Police, riding the subways from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. Those were the bad old days of buildings encrusted in grime and graffiti, parks and public places overrun by the homeless, and a murder rate rising relentlessly.
“In the 1980s and 1990s,” Mr. O’Neill recalls, “the police were just holding on.”
New York is different today. In 1983 there were 1,622 murders in the city—and the peak was still years away. In 2016 the city reported only 335 murders, and Mr. O’Neill says total shootings were below 1,000 for the first time in the city’s modern history.
As the journal City & State noted, New York now has “one-fifth the crime of 1990 with a million more people.” It’s not the only thing that’s changed. That rookie transit officer is now Gotham’s top cop.
On its own, the success of New York’s Finest in bringing down murder and other violent crime is a remarkable achievement. What makes it more extraordinary is how hard it seems to be for other big cities to replicate.
Read more from the Wall Street Journal [HERE].