June 25, 2015
Comprehensive approach designed to fully engage community as coequal partner to keep neighborhoods safe, support officers, and keep crime at historic low levels
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton today unveiled One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere, a groundbreaking plan of action to guide the work of the nation’s largest police force. The plan outlines a series of strategic changes that taken together form a new comprehensive framework for neighborhood policing – building a true partnership with neighbors and residents in the fight against crime.
The plan recognizes that the best way to keep crime at historically low levels, and drive it down even further, is to engage and activate community members as coequal partners in the fight against crime like never before.
To achieve this critical goal, One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere introduces a comprehensive, pioneering plan for neighborhood policing. The plan is designed to solve the central problem in implementing the community policing ideal: providing officers with the time and training necessary to deepen relationships within the communities they serve, and transforming the role of officers from traditionally reactive responders to calls for service into something more – proactive problem solvers in true partnership with the community. The result, already being felt in four pilot precincts, is increased community engagement for officers, yielding collaboration and increased trust and respect between police and the communities they serve. This reduces and prevents crime, improves quality of life for all New Yorkers, and builds stronger relationships between residents and cops.
“Over the last year and a half, this administration has embarked on a vision of reform to overcome decades of challenges between the police and the communities they serve while also driving down crime. From equipping officers with new technology and enhanced training, to reducing unnecessary stops, profound changes in policing are already underway, and their effects are being felt across the city,” said Mayor de Blasio. “With One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere, we take the next step and apply our vision on the grandest scale yet to ensure the people of this city have a police force that is deeply connected at the neighborhood level, where police officers are deployed consistently in those communities to build relationships and deepen trust, and community members are fully engaged and mobilized partners in the mission to keep our streets safe.”
“Today, the NYPD steps into a new era – an era in which the Department brings policing in this city to a new level – where officers are empowered to achieve what so many aspired to when the joined the NYPD: To be the guardians and protectors of every community of New York, working in partnership with the residents of those communities and, ultimately with every public and private entity, to make every part of the city safe and fair for everyone,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton.
One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere is a central pillar of the Police Department’s broad plan to define and implement new initiatives in five key areas, otherwise known as the Five “Ts”.
Since May, the neighborhood policing plan has been piloted in four precincts in Washington Heights (Manhattan) and the Rockaways (Queens). In the coming months, the program will be expanded to additional precincts across the city, with a specific focus and emphasis on high-crime areas. In developing this vision, the Police Commissioner and members of the Department met with hundreds of community leaders to help identify existing challenges and realistic and workable solutions. In addition, Mayor de Blasio announced the addition of 1,297 new officers as part of the final budget negotiations with the City Council. The force equivalent of much of this new staffing will be dedicated to One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere.
Key features of the plan include the division of a precinct into four or five fully staffed sectors, as opposed to the existing eight to ten sectors that often aren’t fully staffed; newly-drawn sector boundaries that closely conform with neighborhood boundaries; the establishment of Neighborhood Coordinating Officers (NCOs) in each sector to identify and manage community concerns; and dedicated time each day for NCOs to be out in the community to establish and nurture relationships. The plan establishes “true sector integrity,” where the same two officers are in the same sector every day with the potential for an additional two regularly-assigned cars depending on the sector’s crime rates; the designation of two newly-created Neighborhood Coordination Officers per sector who will have the resources and training to work within the community to leverage NYPD assets and partner agencies to help address local problems; the allocation of four cars and eight officers for precinct-wide rapid response; and the utilization of technology and databases at officers’ fingertips in the field.
Critically, officers will have built-in time to address issues that go beyond the crunch of standard radio calls. Officers will now have the space to meet with residents in their neighborhoods, attend community meetings and address issues beyond incoming calls for service. Morale for both cops and community will grow as they partner in the shared interest of combatting crime and improving the quality of life for the community.
The pilot programs have demonstrated some promising initial developments. In the 34th precinct pilot – site of today’s press conference – for the period of May 18 to June 21, crime in the seven major categories is down 13.6 percent for this year compared to last year (114 crimes in 2015 vs. 132 crimes in 2014). Over the last 28-day period in the 34th precinct – May 25 to June 21 – crime in the major seven categories is down 18.9 percent (87 crimes in 2015 vs. 107 crimes in 2014). There were zero shootings in the 34th precinct during this period compared to two last year. Over this same period, robberies are down 39 percent (14 vs. 23) and felony assaults are down 42 percent (14 vs. 24). Furthermore, response times have improved over this 28-day period, from 12 minutes, 19 seconds in 2014 to 10 minutes, 38 seconds in 2015, which local police commanders attribute to more officers in communities.
Details of the plan can be found here.
“Community policing works; after 22 years protecting and serving this city in a bulletproof vest, I can say that with confidence. The NYPD has long suffered from a public relations crisis in the communities they police, leading to neighborhood mistrust, declining officer morale, and unnecessary obstacles to making New Yorkers safer. Over the last year and a half, I have shared many conversations with Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton on our shared vision for a new model of community policing. By actively engaging police officers with community residents, handling local concerns and connecting with City services, we can change the paradigm of what policing is for the better. Pilot programs have shown putting more community-engaged police officers on our street corners will make us safer, and I look forward to every precinct benefitting from similar results,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton for the 'One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere' plan. This is similar to Mayor David Dinkin's 'Safe City, Safe Streets' initiative, which reduced crime in record numbers and developed a positive environment and exchange through community policing,” said Congressman Charles Rangel. “I look forward to seeing a successful implantation of the much needed-plan that will help strengthen relations between the residents and the Police who protect and serve the neighborhood.”
Congressman Eliot Engel said, “Strong bonds of trust and open lines of communication with the community are vital tools for the NYPD as they work to keep New York the safest big city in the country. And these relationships offer New Yorkers the chance to feel safe, protected, and invested in the well-being of our neighborhoods. I am pleased that Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton are taking these concrete steps to keep us safe and foster trust between communities and police.”
“I have long been a believer in community policing, when our men and women in blue walk through neighborhoods and develop relationships with the communities they have sworn to protect. Mayor de Blasio’s launch of One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere is a significant and welcome initiative. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton for their leadership on this issue and I look forward to working with them, the police force, and the community to ensure the successful implementation of these changes,” said Congressman Gregory W. Meeks.
“The Mayor and Commissioner’s vision of neighborhood policing is a positive approach for ensuring that officers and the community work together to solve problems in the neighborhood,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “It is critical that residents and police be partners in fighting crime, and I thank the Mayor and Commissioner for working to ensure that this partnership exists.”
“Getting police officers back into the community and out from behind a desk is an important step in improving New York City’s approach to policing,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “We need to be interacting, not just reacting to events in our communities. That is how we create a more visible, more responsive, and more efficient NYPD. Community policing makes our streets and neighborhoods safer and allows officers to better serve the needs of New Yorkers, and I commend Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton for their work in bringing this strategic plan forward.”
“This comprehensive and groundbreaking plan will bring a new approach to policing and crime reduction in our city. By engaging the community as an equal partner, transforming the role of police officers, and incorporating cutting edge technology, Mayor de Blasio’s plan will help build trust between police officers and the communities they protect. This plan is an important step forward in police community relations, and will help the NYPD function more effectively, engage and partner with the neighborhoods they police, and continue crime rate reductions,” said Congressman Jose Serrano.
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said, “Recent months have proven that much work remains to improve policing and repair the relationships between our community and the NYPD. It is my hope that these reforms will take meaningful steps in that direction.”
"I applaud Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton for introducing such a dynamic plan to improve policing in New York City. This innovative plan that will not only strengthen relationships between civilians and officers by creating new levels of trust and comfort, it will also help keep the crime rate historically low. 'One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere' will better protect and serve the 8 million plus that call this city home," said State Senator Jose M. Serrano.
"More police officers in more neighborhoods more closely tied to the community means a safer and fairer city," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "Thank you Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Bratton and the City Council for increasing the police force and encouraging community engagement."
“The bridge between the community and the police is long overdue, especially addressing key issues that would keep our communities safe versus people in the community feeling like targets,” said Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte. “Mayor de Blasio's One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere is the right step towards building a partnership and a dialogue between and the NYPD, taking every effort to help heal wounds that prevent our ability to work hand-in-hand with each other. I applaud the Mayor in his steadfast approach and his continuous efforts to implement reforms.”
“We are our Brother and Sisters Keeper, and we must live that out in our communities and with our policing”, said Assembly Member Michael A. Blake. “In order for us to keep our residents safe, rebuild the trust and ensure that our young people are seen as children first rather than criminals, we needed a new vision for our policing efforts. As Co-Chair of the NY Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Caucus’ Criminal Justice subcommittee, I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton for taking these necessary steps to rebuild our communities together”.
“Trust in the criminal justice system is essential to good policing. Communities must feel that justice is being applied fairly to believe that the system is working properly. The One City: Safe and Fair – Everywhere plan takes direct aim at improving trust in the criminal justice system and it recognizes that it must start at the lowest level – on the streets. By strengthening relationships between police officers and communities we can ensure that distrust in the criminal justice system is a thing of the past,” said Assembly Member Joe Lentol.
“The One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere program recognizes that strong and engaged relationships between the NYPD and residents of the neighborhoods of our great city is key to ensuring that our vibrant city remains the safest and best city in the world for people from all backgrounds to live, work and raise their families. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton for implementing this groundbreaking plan which will allow the hard-working and dedicated men and women of the NYPD the opportunity to build trusted and true partnerships with the residents they serve. It is my firm belief that One City: Safe and Fair Everywhere will create strong bonds throughout the five boroughs rooted in the virtues of courtesy, professionalism, and respect,” said Assembly Member N. Nick Perry.
"Mayor de Blasio's One City: Safe and Fair - Everywhere is a well thought out plan to improve the way we police the City of New York. The plan to include neighborhood policing is especially important to help rebuild trust between the police department and our communities. Pilot programs have already shown success, and I look forward to seeing it expanded city wide," said Assembly Member Luis R. Sepúlveda.
“Engaging community members as partners in public safety is critical to our success as a City,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “I am thrilled that the NYPD is undertaking a collaborative policing strategy that allows officers the opportunity to better know the people they serve. This plan, driven by data and derived through the engagement of local leaders, is part of an overall cultural shift within the NYPD. I am hopeful that we will continue to see programs that target the end of discriminatory practices and focus instead on supporting our officers and protecting our streets. I commend the Commissioner Bratton and the NYPD for their efforts to rebuild strained relationships within the community and am thankful to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito, and my Council Colleagues for recognizing that the safety of New York is dependent on a fully staffed police department and for their continued support of our officers.”
“The City Council believes in the need for more police officers who are truly invested in the communities they protect. We are fully engaged and looking forward to collaborating with Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Bratton on their new strategy for neighborhood policing and deploying neighborhood coordinating officers. I thank the mayor and the commissioner for responding to the Council’s call for more officers and for starting to bring reform to the force,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.