Friday, October 24, 2014

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NYPD Boosts Street Patrols In High-Crime Areas

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In a targeted initiative to reduce crime, hundreds of extra police officers are patrolling certain blocks, housing projects and subway stations in the city where crime remains high.

The program, dubbed “Operation Impact,” actually began last Friday but wasn't unveiled by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg until Thursday. The NYPD identified 20 small patrol areas, a number of housing projects and nearly three dozen subway stations that have not seen the same drop in crime, particularly violent crime, as the city overall.

“The NYPD will track crimes, enforcement and deployment on a daily basis and conduct daily intelligence briefings to examine current crime trends and conditions,” said the mayor. “The NYPD will also place highly-visible field command posts throughout the impact zones to deter criminal activity.”

Officials hope the heavy police presence and focused attention will make the various “impact locations” safer. Eight-hundred extra officers will walk the beat each day looking for new arrests, while other units work on solving old crimes.

“Operation Impact will be an all-out blitz on crime, especially violent crime," Kelly said. "While uniformed officers will make up the bulk of this attack, they will be backed by a number of our specialized units, including narcotics, warrants, vice, emergency service, auto and gang."

The NYPD will also be working closely will all of the district attorneys, officials said.

The targeted areas stretch across all five boroughs. Brooklyn, with eight, has the most.

Kelly said the program will be funded with money earmarked for Operation Condor, a controversial narcotics initiative that was scrapped last year. Operation Impact is being staffed by officers on overtime, until rookies graduating from the Police Academy later this month can take over.

Meanwhile, some local officials worry about police becoming more aggressive.

“My biggest concern is, a lot of times, when aggressive police action takes place, civilian complaints go up,” said Councilman James Davis, who is a former police officer.

Police officials said they'll monitor civilian complaints closely.
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