More than 2,000 people have been arrested in a continuing NYPD crackdown on violent street gangs. In the past, police did not care much about the reaction mass arrests can cause in neighborhoods. That's not the case any more. NY1 criminal justice reporter Dean Memminger has more in the third and final part of his series.
Many New Yorkers applaud the NYPD's dismantling of street gangs across the city - operations that have arrested more than 2,000 young men in the last year and half.
But police officials are well aware of the backlash these takedowns sometimes create when residents and community leaders question whether all of those arrested, most of them black and Latino, are truly violent gang members.
"While people might not feel completely satisfied with how it was done or who were the subjects, this case did not involve random individuals," said NYPD Commander Inspector Ruel Stephenson of the 47th precinct.
As a result, the NYPD has adopted a relatively new strategy of orchestrated outreach.
After every gang takedown, the police department now holds meetings in the communities that had the arrests.
NYPD bosses explain to the families, friends and neighbors of alleged gang members why they were arrested.
"We are looking at over a dozen shootings that are going to be prosecuted dated back to 2007 based on hundreds of hours of work by the detectives," said NYPD PSA 7 Commanding Officer Captain Robert Gallitellli.
One of the latest large-scale gang arrests happened last month at the Mill Brook houses in the South Bronx where 33 were rounded up. A couple of weeks later police met with residents in the public housing development.
"It is really the epitome of precision policing. It is looking at the very very small percentage of people who are doing the largest percentage of violent crime and working to get those people off the streets to make the neighborhood safer for everyone," Gallitellli said.
After a gang takedown, The NYPD implements what it calls a five point community strategy to immediately notify local elected officials and neighborhood leaders of the arrests.
Distribute a fact sheet about the operation, hold community meetings, organize job and resource fairs in the area, and establish programs to discourage teens from joining gangs.
The mayor's office to prevent gun violence is even giving out grants of up to a thousand dollars for groups hosting public safety events.
At the Mill Brook Housing meeting people did not want to appear on camera but were encouraged by the arrests. However one resident did express outrage with the NYPD's massive gang takedowns. The person felt police could have stopped some of the violence but instead built long term cases.
Activists Taylonn Murphy agrees with that. His daughter was killed in 2011 by gangs and his son sent to prison for gang violence.
"We shouldn’t just watch for years young people, the age of , like I always say 13, 14, 15 hurt one another and fight one another and then wait till they're 18 to swoop them up and put them in these mass indictments," Murphy said.
At many of the meetings, community members often ask will there be more arrests.
And the answer from police is usually yes.