In order to get more officers in the street and fewer pushing paperwork, the NYPD’s Summer All Out Initiative, created by Police Commissioner William Bratton, turned office workers into street patrollers.
Beginning July 7, about 300 NYPD members typically assigned to desk-duty were placed in focused neighborhoods such as Canarsie, East New York, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Brownsville, Parkchester, Fordham, and Williamsbridge.
The Daily News reported gun-shootings at a 25 percent decrease in the targeted neighborhoods. There was also a 12 percent drop recorded in citywide shootings as a result of the NYPD’s initiative.
Neighborhood residents noticed the increased presence of uniformed police officers in their communities.
“I did see a lot more cops this summer…I liked it, I felt safer,” said East New York resident Marsha Pierre, 30.
There are still worries, though, about how an increased presence of police could mean more trouble for minorities in those neighborhoods, especially as tension between police and residents has increased since the death of Eric Garner, who died after an NYPD officer put him in a chokehold.
On Monday, Sept. 8, a New York City Council meeting with Bratton took place to discuss NYPD reform. The council meeting revolved around police tactics in New York and increasing the number of cops in the streets.
Garner’s death prompted the meeting, which involved council members picking apart new NYPD training protocols and procedures. Bratton not only testified on police tactics, he also urged the council to approve funding to hire more than one thousand new NYPD officers in the year 2015.
However, reform in the recent past has been denied, making some wonder if the new talk about police training is just hot air. The ideas outlined for NYPD reform were proposed earlier this year to Bratton just months before the hearing and were denied.
Commissioner Bratton stressed that all officers will receive training outlining the use of force in official-to-civilian encounters. The training also includes workshops that will be used to teach officers about cultural sensitivity, according to Bratton at the council meeting.
Bratton said he continues to work closely with city lawyers about using aggressive defense correctly and reverting to less lethal methods to avoid more civilian casualties. Expected costs and expenditures for training all the new officials were estimated at approximately $25 to $30 million, according to official reports.