NYPD unveils new crime-fighting initiative in stubborn areas
The New York Police Department will devote additional resources to six precincts, including two in Brooklyn, with violent crime rates that are more than twice as high as the rest of the city, Commissioner James O’Neill said on Wednesday.
O’Neill, delivering his annual State of the NYPD address, said the initiative is aimed at ensuring every neighborhood benefits from the city’s historic overall drop in crime, regardless of income level, location or demographics.
New York has seen crime numbers fall dramatically over the past three decades. The city had fewer than 300 homicides last year, compared with 2,245 in 1990.
However, O’Neill said, there are still stubborn pockets of crime that illustrate disparities. The violent crime rate in the 19th Precinct, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is one-eighth the rate of the 25th Precinct, just 50 blocks uptown, he said. O’Neill also named Brooklyn’s 73rd and 75th precincts as two of these “stubborn” areas — the other three are in the Bronx.
New crime-fighting strategies in the selected precincts are being drawn up with input from community members, service providers, elected officials and city agencies, O’Neill said.
Among these initiatives is the expansion of programs like the Brownsville Cornerstone Basketball League, a program that brings together kids in public housing and local NYPD officers for games and courses in conflict resolution.
“Brownsville can and should be as safe as Brooklyn Heights,” O’Neill said during his remarks.
The commissioner said he and other top police officials will hold meetings in each of these precincts to launch the program.
The NYPD “won’t rest,” O’Neill said, “until every block in every neighborhood enjoys the same level of safety and well-being as the rest of the city.”
Additional reporting by Sara Bosworth
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