Neighborhood Policing: How It’s Playing Out in the Bronx — and Why It Might Work This Time

(WNYC) In the 1970s and ’80s, back when the 44th Precinct in the Bronx suffered 90 murders a year and the highest crime rate in America, Detective Richard J. Hake would cruise around in a squad car, assessing the scene.

“I could actually see guys walking and I knew what their intentions were: they were gonna mug somebody,” he recalled on a recent trip to those same streets — this time with a pair of current officers whose jobs, and the city they patrol, are drastically different.

Officer Rafael Morales and Detective Wilfredo Benitez of NYPD’s new Neighborhood Policing initiative are tasked not with holding back a daily deluge of disorder, as was Hake, but to take advantage of this low-crime moment and cultivate deeper relationships with people in the same precinct, while responding to concerns that are often be overlooked.

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