Saturday, May 31, 2014

City Council Crime Fighting and the NYPD 446

The NYPD Bronx DA Ticket Fixing CoverUp
NYPD ticket-fixing only hurts drivers and lower-levelcops, but needs to be halted where it really starts: the top (NYDN) The Daily News’ Denis Hamill writes that former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson should be held accountable for their roles in a ticket quota scandal. As usual, it’s only low-level cops who get nailed. And the average cop is still forced to give tickets to meet what many inside and outside of the NYPD say is part of a quota system. The News reported that when the plaintiffs’ lawyer Elinor Sutton tried to get her hands on correspondence between Kelly and former NYPD Chief of Department Joe Esposito regarding summons activity over the past eight years, the city was unable to locate even one email or text. “It is simply not tenable that Commissioner Kelly and Chief Esposito — in the entire period of 2007 through the present — didn’t write or receive emails using terms related to the word ‘summons,’ ” Sutton writes in her filing in Manhattan Federal Court.

Council Bratton Pissing Match  - Is Anyone Looking At How She Was Elected? Scripted Mayoral Triangulation?
Battle over decriminalization of low-level offenses erupts(NYP) The pissing match between the City Council and the NYPD is coming to a head.City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito threatened to wield the council’s “aggressive oversight” power over One Police Plaza if Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton don’t fall in line with her proposal to decriminalize six low-level offenses, including public urination. “We are very committed to continuing . . . to demand from our commissioner and our mayor that our police have to improve the way they interact within our community,” Mark-Viverito declared Saturday morning at an event in Harlem hosted by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. *Mark-Viverito: Decriminalize minor offenses, Bratton (NYDN) * New York City Plans to Transform Summons Process  (NYT) Newly unveiled changes could have significant consequences for judges, lawyers and the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers charged with low-level violations each year. NYPD: Divided Government or Mayor Speaker Triangulation? Government By Lobbyist Spin . . .  Where the Poll to See If New Yorkers Want to Go Soft on Public Pissing?

NYP: Who is In Charge of The NYPD? Everyone?
Who’s really in charge of today’s NYPD? (NYP Ed)  Once upon a time, it was easy to describe the leadership structure overseeing New York City policing. No more. Twenty years ago, it was Mayor Rudy Giuliani as No. 1, and then-Police Commissioner William Bratton as No. 2. After Giuliani bounced Bratton, there was no real No. 2, because as Giuliani wrote, he only considered his loyalists for the job. More recently, Commissioner Ray Kelly was No. 1, because Mayor Mike Bloomberg essentially gave him full reign in everything but the budget. Today, Mayor de Blasio is No. 1, though he’s been as much a critic of the department as its boss. More worrisome, it’s hard to name a No. 2. — and that could mean trouble for the city down the road. To be sure, there are several candidates for the spot. Start with the federal monitor, put in place by a US district judge to make sure cops don’t carry out illegal searches. This month, the monitor, Peter Zimroth, released material to be added to the Police Academy curriculum for training recruits. Most involve precepts that many of us learned at our mother’s knee. For example, recruits are told to “remember most people are good, law-abiding citizens.” And, “don’t assume that only criminals fear the police.” The next offering may be the story of The Three Bears. One wonders whether he was put in place to teach police ethics (for which he has no qualifications) or to ensure that the city complies with the court decree. Since Zimroth is beyond the mayor’s control, he — with the backing of a federal judge — would become, in effect, No. 2 (if not No. 1). The city also has its own special watchdog for the NYPD. The City Council created the position of inspector general in 2013. Recently, the IG, Philip Eure, proposed that the NYPD collect more data on lawsuits against cops.

Speaker's Triangulation: 1000 More Cops But Wants to Limit What They Can Police
City Council doesn’t care about quality of life in NYC (NYP) No, I’m not being sarcastic! The mayor actually made the right call, under a little bit of pressure, when he said last week he was rejected the view propounded by his fellow liberal Democrat, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, that the city should decriminalize low-level offenses such as public urination and turnstile-jumping. “I want to emphasize my vision of quality-of-life policing and my vision related to the ‘Broken Windows’ strategy is the same as Commissioner [William] Bratton’s — we’re very much unified on this point,” de Blasio said. * No arrests for minor crimes? Some readers think that's a badidea  (CrainsNY)

Mayor's Triangulation: Want to Keep Enforcing Quality of Life Crimes But Does Not Want Extra Cops
De Blasio’s tough talk on crime undercuts his apparent opposition to Bratton’s request for 1,000 more police officers on the streets. The cost of that would be some $68 million and would reduce overtime for police, upon which the city spent a staggering $672 million last year. Even Mark-Viverito supports the idea of hiring more cops. De Blasio has been hinting he will not hire the additional officers, even though the city currently has 6,000 fewer cops than it did in 2001. New York has added roughly 350,000 new residents since then, a city the size of Honolulu being added to the existing city.

Council Moves to Finished Off Weaken "Broken Windows" . . . Bratton Limits Police Effectiveness 
A potential showdown is looming over a pair of City Council proposals that would decriminalize a host of offenses that could dramatically impact the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach to policing, the Daily Newsreports: * A potential showdown is looming over a pair of NYC Council proposals that would decriminalize a host of offenses — including fare-beating, drinking on the street and public urination — in an overhaul that could dramatically impact the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach to policing.*The Council’s pee brains seek to set loose chaos on the streets with effort to decriminalize low-level misdemeanors(NYDN) * THE COUNCIL'S PEE BRAINS: Scheme to decriminalize quality-of-life offenses threatens public order and safety (NYDN Ed)*De Blasio expressed strong reservations about a New York City Council plan to decriminalize common low-level offenses, such as public urination and turnstile-jumping, the Post reports: Saturday Update Bratton Council Bill Hurts Police Effectiveness  Bratton: Council plan would limit police effectiveness (Capital)* Bratton Pushes Back Against Council Speaker's Proposal to Decriminalize Some Minor Violations (NY1) *  New York’s top judge came out forcefully in support of a New York City Council proposal to redirect a number of top "broken windows” charges to one of the city's civil administrative courts instead of the criminal system, the Daily Newsreports: 

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton warned that high-level crime could come “roaring back” if the City Council succeeds in decriminalizing these so-called quality of life offenses, the Post writes: * A report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice shows that New York City has struggled for a decade to handle the half-million summonses issued each year for low-level offenses, The Wall Street Journalwrites: * Bratton: Crime will surge if minor offenses decriminalized (NYP)* Summonses for Minor Crimes Keep Falling, Report Says, but Many Still Lead to Arrest Warrants (NYT) The findings land in the midst of a debate over how New York and its police should handle low-level offenses at a time of diminishing street crime yet increasing tension over police tactics. * Top New York Democrats: Urinating in Public Should Still Be aCrime (NYO) Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer, two of the top elected officials in New York City, agreed today that public urination should remain a criminal offense–breaking with their fellow Democrat, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
City Council doesn't care about quality of life in NYC  via @nypost DEB allegedly differs with Speaker he elected

A Crime Fighting City Council?   
The New York Post is accusing City Council members who last year approved restrictions on stop-and-frisk of hypocrisy for now “crying foul now that violence is on the upswing.” “The primary job of the police is simply to prevent crime. The City Council shouldn’t interfere with that,” one resident told the paper after a hearing in which members urged the NYPD to hire an extra 1,000 cops.* Politicians who curbed cops stir fury by crying foul at crime spike(NYP)The lawmakers stood on the steps of City Hall this week to complain that, while overall crime is down citywide, violent incidents have spiked in pockets, particularly in low-income communities.But some city residents said the council members were two-faced for demonizing and micromanaging the NYPD and now demanding law and order. “Stop-and-frisk has no correlation . . . with an increase in any crimes,” Mendez said. “We need more police officers.”Councilman Andy King (D-Bronx) said there was another murder in his district on Wednesday — an execution-style slaying murder of a 40-year-old man. He said he has always had a great relationship with the NYPD, which nabbed a suspect.* NYPD Inspector General to start work next week, have a staff of 43(NYDN)

7% Crime Spike in Shootings. . . Council Pushing for More Cops   

Crime Fighter Reppetto On City's Rising Crime
Thomas Reppetto is the former president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City and author of “American Police: 1945 To 2012.”
The threats over NYPD’s horizon(NYP)
Less than six months ago, the city’s cop critics were demanding that we end police tactics such as stop, question and frisk as well as NYPD attempts to keep criminals out of housing projects.Today, the same people are screaming about the rise in shootings and gang violence in the projects and certain precincts.
I’m not yet ready to say, “I told you so.” Over the two decades of New York’s dramatic drop in crime, we’ve often had temporary spikes in certain areas.So far, the NYPD has always been able to bring them under control by concentrating its forces on the “hotspots.” If the current situation is no more than temporary in some local areas, the cops will deal with it. That is, if they’re allowed to enforce the laws. The problem will come if these are not merely local spikes, but an emerging citywide phenomenon. This is what happened during the crack wars of the 1980s.
Do We Need More Cops or Activists Cops Seeking Out the Criminals?
Will Mayor de Blasio let crime run rampant in the projects?(NYP)Though crime is down 3 percent citywide compared to a year ago, NYPD stats show that shootings have jumped 7 percent and housing-project crime is up 3 percent. He blamed project-based gangs — “crews” is the term of art — for the increase in gunplay: One shooting will guarantee a retaliatory shooting, said the commissioner, and the key to controlling mayhem in public housing is a sustained, high-profile policing.“Society isn’t the issue,”* * amNewYork writes that while the New York City Council has proposed adding 1,000 new NYPD officers, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton must work smarter to solve crime with the current resources he has: 
Bratton put it Wednesday, quite correctly. “People are. Criminals.”Remove the criminals, he said, and flowers will bloom.There was a murmur of approval, but then the criminologist Heather Mac Donald stood up with a most apt question. Bratton’s boss, Bill de Blasio, she noted, has shown no stomach whatsoever for policing policies of the sort the commissioner had just described. So what happens if City Hall torpedoes them. Translation: What happens if de Blasio caves in to a bizarrely activist federal judge in ongoing litigation that specifically seeks to prevent aggressive policing in housing projects?After all, the mayor refused to fight the same judge’s finding in a separate case — that the NYPD’s now-abandoned “stop-and-frisk” policies were so overtly racist that the department needs the oversight of a federal monitor.Bratton paused, ever so briefly, and said: “I will work with what I have.”
Fatal Shooting in Part of Bronx With Surge of Violence(NYT)In the public safety chair’s backyard, crime is on the rise(Capital) CM Gibson, a Democratic former assemblywoman who is now chair of the Council's public safety committee, reiterated those sentiments at a hearing yesterday, telling Carlos Gomez, chief of the NYPD's housing bureau, “What is the problem? Why are we having such an increase in crime at public housing? … Crime is actually going in the wrong direction.”Members of the New York City Council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus are calling on de Blasio to add 1,000 more NYPD officers to address increases in crime, including a 7 percent uptick in shootings compared to last year, the Daily News writes:  * Commissioner Details Policing Options and Use of Resources at Council Budget Hearing(NYT)  Bratton was pressed about the idea of adding 1,000 officers to the force, but did not take a position, saying it was between the Council and the mayor.*  QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I know that you are sympathetic and that privately you support this initiative.” -- Public Advocate Letitia James to NYPD officials about hiring 1,000 officers* Shootings rising at city's public housing projects; NYPD searching for solutions(NYDN) *** Stop and Frisk Update A memo written by an attorney for the Civilian Complaint Review Board would appear to lower the bar for police frisks
* Let cops be cops(NYDN) the takeaway for the Council must be that it’s not the number of cops that counts the most; it’s how the department deploys them on the street. Right now, thanks in no small part to sentiment on the Council, the police are operating without the full benefit of the stop, question and sometimes frisk strategy.* Bratton: NYPD robocalls will measure our performance (NYDN) 

 City Council members call on mayor to add 1,000 cops following 7% spike in shootings(NYDN)“That’s a major, major problem, and a major concern,” said Bronx Councilman Andy King, whose district has reportedly seen eight murders so far this year–versus just one in 2013, according to the Daily News. Flashback City politicians push for more cops in crime-ridden NYCHA buildings(NYDN) With major crimes shooting up 31% at public housing projects In 2010 the city was sued for NYPD vertical patrol at NYCHA buildings. What do you think the tenants living in fear today in public housing think about the vertical patrols ending? * . lukewarm on adding 1000 cops, decriminalizing marijuana during Council testimony NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton: Funding isn't there for extra cops(WSJ)* A Roadmap to the NYPD's Priorities (WNYC)
BRATTON’S STRATEGIST SPEAKS -- This morning, police commissioner Bill Bratton will introduce George Kelling, the co-author of the Broken Windows theory, at a breakfast hosted by the Manhattan Institute. Kelling is consulting with the NYPD now that Bratton is back in charge. When the two first paired up in the 1990s, Bratton was a new police commissioner here putting Kelling’s theory to its first real-world test. Bratton and Kelling’s theory largely succeeded. 

-- Bratton for drones, in theory: “I'm supportive of the concept of drones,” Bratton told the council, in a response to a question from Corey Johnson. Bratton said he supported drones for public safety and anti-terrorism efforts, and said they are "something we active* Bratton sez he will continue to use overtime to make up for officer headcount losses, existing officers easier to deploy. Wouldn't want to cut OT for PBA members? Since when is a rookie harder to deploy than a cop with seniority?
. says misunderstands how police are distributed at . "more complex than how it was presented"

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