Efforts to mend relationships between police and communities have contributed to a continued decrease in crime in New York City.
The city reported a drop in overall crime for the fourth straight year. Records show that there were 96,517 crimes reported in 2017, compared with 102,052 in 2016, a drop of 5.4 percent.
In 2017, there were 292 murders in New York City, compared with 335 the year prior. That’s in contrast to the 2,605 people killed in New York City in 1990.
Some residents attribute the drop in crime to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has implemented a number of programs to bring neighborhood residents and the police together. At a press conference earlier this year to announce the crime rate, de Blasio said, “No one believed it was possible to get under 300 murders. The NYPD reached the goal that no one thought possible.”
Trish White, 40, of Brooklyn said that good community and police relations have had a positive impact on the community.
“It sets an example for everyone in the community to be kind to one another,” she said.
The New York Police Department has several programs and community events featured on its website. One program, The Neighborhood Policy, divides precincts into sectors where neighborhoods are fully established. Police officers are able to become familiar with residents and local problems, the department’s website said.
Neighborhood policing increases, “connectivity and engagement with the community without diminishing, and, in fact, improving the NYPD’s crime-fighting capabilities,” according to the police department’s website.
Another program, the Summer Youth Program, is promoted as enhancing responsible citizenship, providing positive interaction with police officers and educating young people about the challenges and responsibility of police work, according to the police department’s website.
Policies that involve the police and the community seem to set an example of kindness that is spread through the community.
Community-based policing may have started three decades ago, but the data has shown that it has become more effective in the recent years.
Former Mayor David Dinkins hired over 6,000 police officers to combat high crime rates in the 1990s. At the time, he was criticized for cutting social service programs in order to fund the police department. In 1993, crime decreased an average of 4 percent in seven major crime areas.
The drop in crime in de Blasio’s tenure is attributed to neighborhood policing, where the same police officers work in the same city sectors; better equipment; and improved training of police officers.
Nia Miley, 16, is a junior at Achievement First East Brooklyn High School.