Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Bratton Wants NYPD Rookies Out of Operation Impact

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TWC News: Bratton Wants NYPD Rookies Out of Operation Impact
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Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says he wants to stop flooding high-crime neighborhoods with rookie officers fresh out of the academy, a practice that's been in place for more than a decade. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Under former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, rookie officers were strategically placed in precincts with high crime to help address the issue. It's called Operation Impact. But, like stop-and-frisk, new Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says that Operation Impact will see major changes. And they'll involve those rookies.

"Pushing them into a program that was intended to encourage giving citations, encourage enforcement. I want them to have a broader experience," Bratton said.

Bratton says that seasoned officers should do that work, and rookies should be given more time to learn.

"Not just enforcing the majority of the time, but helping, responding and spending more time being mentored once they get out on the street," Bratton said.

The commissioner says that on the street, stop-and-frisk is way down for his first month.
A little more than 3,000 cases were reported for January. If that average holds, there could be fewer than 40,000 cases for the year. At its peak in 2011, there were about 685,000.

What's behind the big drop?

"I'm not hearing anything about a concern that they're engaging in activity with the public without documentation," Bratton said. "No, I think it's the fact that the number of stops is down dramatically."

Bratton said that it's possibly down too much.

Robert Gangi heads up the Urban Justice Center's police reform organizing project. He said he's not convinced that the real number of stop-and-frisks is down that far.

"Are they now actually deflating numbers so that the practice looks less harmful and aggressive?" Gangi said. "We're not sure yet."

Gangi said that so far, he is actually pleased by what he's seen, but needs to get the final word from those who complain about police practices.

"Particularly young black and brown men who live in the communities to be able to report to us, to the press, to the courts, to the politicians, yes, it's changed, yes, the police are not harassing us the way they used to," he said.

Bratton has constantly said that he will work with the community and police officers, because when it comes to police policy, they both matter.

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