NYPD: City safer due to precise, community-based policing

New York Police Department officials are applauding the precision and neighborhood policing strategies they say have made New York City a much safer place for everyone.

In a press conference held Wednesday, NYPD Assistant Chief Michael Shea reported overall crime was down by nearly 10 percent and also down in every borough of the city.

According to NYPD News, there were 40 shootings in February 2017, compared to 62 shootings in February 2016. However, while overall crime was down, homicides went slightly up, as there were 20 murders this year in February, up from the 18 murders in the same month last year.

Officials said the decrease in crime was in part caused by the implementation of precision policing, which focuses resources on high-crime areas, and neighborhood policing, a strategy that encourages police to focus on small areas and learn more about those communities.

“As we move through 2017 and this becomes ingrained into how we do business, I think this is going to help us push crime down, especially the violence,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at the news conference. “I see this definitely going in a positive direction.”

O’Neill also noted recent upticks in gun arrests, saying: “Those are firearms that will never be used to hurt anyone in New York City. Think of the lives potentially saved, the families kept intact.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio heralded the deployment of 2,000 more officers on NYC streets and noted they have also played a big part in the city’s decrease in crime.

“It’s very gratifying for all of us to be able to come before you month after month and show progress, but there isn’t a hint of complacency,” de Blasio said. “They see this as a beginning, not an end. We have a lot more to do.”