Sunday, December 21, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A Stop-and-Frisk Question after a Bloody Weekend

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It was a bloody Saturday night with 14 New Yorkers shot in five separate incidents over the weekend, resulting in two fatalities. As many a crime reporter has noted this year, while homicides are down in 2014, shooting incidents are up by twelve percent – meaning that if criminals had better aim, we'd have a higher death toll on our hands.

A trio of Daily News reporters crunched some crime statistics on Sunday, finding that the controversial stop-and-frisk tactic is down by a whopping 99 percent in two Brooklyn precincts – while shootings are up there by 27 and 47 percent.

“Guys know they’re not going to get stopped, so they’re packing more now,” an unnamed police supervisor told the News team.

It's difficult to know if the fall of stop-and-frisk is really responsible for the uptick in shootings, but it's clear that the city's crime rate needs to be watched like a hawk.

Mayor de Blasio last week smartly advanced a program that would place "violence interrupters" in high-crime neighborhoods. Many of the workers will be former gang members who will try to keep the uneasy peace from shattering on some tough streets. But the mayor also needs to remember that the best "violence interrupter" is supposed to be someone called a police officer. And the mayor earlier this year resisted a push by the City Council to add 1,000 more cops to the NYPD ranks.

In the wake of the death of Eric Garner, police crime-fighting tactics are understandably getting a thorough review. But if we decide as a city to abandon "broken windows" just as we've said goodbye to stop-and-frisk, we need to come up with a new blueprint. Windows don't fix themselves.

Bob Hardt

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