Neighborhood Policing Changing Attitudes and Reaping Benefits

(DNA INFO) HARLEM — Gunfire erupted on West 133rd Street near Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and one of the first things NYPD Officer Peter DiViesti did was reach for his iPhone.

He had befriended a property manager on the block months before the September incident as part of the NYPD’s neighborhood policing strategy — which gets officers off the radio and gives them more time to meet community members — and the worker had given him access to his building’s cameras.

Now, through the tap of a button, he could monitor that surveillance at any hour on his phone — and he immediately recognized the shooter as someone he’d nabbed for drug possession months before.

“He came back on the block and was up to his old tricks,” DiViesti, 36, said. “We saw him go into the basement with the gun, then we saw him come back up.”

Matthew Hall, 52, was later charged with criminal possession of a weapon for firing those rounds.

 NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan flew out to Los Angeles to study the LAPD's neighborhood strategy.

NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan flew out to Los Angeles to study the LAPD’s neighborhood strategy.

And while an arrest for shots fired may not be on the same scale as a bust for murder, it’s the type of crime the NYPD says is now being cracked more easily through the neighborhood policing model.

THE ORIGINS

On paper, the stats had been strong for years — an 85 percent drop in murders across the city from 1990 to 2013 and a 54 percent decrease in felony assaults — results of the data-driven COMPSTAT era that took an analytical approach to crime fighting.

“But the communities weren’t feeling it,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Terence Monahan said. “It was all about the numbers. Make stops, give out summonses. How many numbers did you do as opposed to what results did you get? It did reduce crime, but it really didn’t teach a cop how to be a cop.”

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