March 17, 2015
Commissioner William Bratton, NYPD: Good afternoon. All set? Welcome to the department’s joint operations center, or as we refer to it – the JOC. The purpose of holding the meeting here is that the system that we’re going to discuss today, the ShotSpotter system – part of the monitoring of that system will occur in this room. So we wanted to give you a demonstration as to how this system will actually work. I think you're all well aware that the department has a Domain Awareness System that has been in place for a number of years, and we will discuss that Domain Awareness System and how this latest technology blends very smoothly into the existing Domain Awareness System, and how that system will continue to expand over the next year or so as we add additional technologies to the wide range of technologies we currently use to help us deal with the issues of crime, disorder, and in disaster situations.
I’m joined at the podium today by the mayor and the public advocate, a number of our community supporters, as well as members of the department. The principal presenter will be Jesse Tisch, who is the deputy commissioner for information and technology and it’s under her officethat this system is being implemented. The procedure for today – we will have an on-topic presentation on the ShotsSpotter technology in the expansion of our Domain Awareness System, followed by questions on-topic. Subsequent to that, members of the department will be available to answer any questions you might have – police specific, crime, or otherwise. The mayor also will then be available for topics relative to issues of interest that you might have relative to him. So, giving you of a little bit of a smorgasbord here today, so behave yourselves, don’t overindulge, and we’ll see if we can get out of here before midnight this evening. With that, I’d like to introduce Jesse Tisch, who will introduce the technology system that is now being blended into our Domain Awareness System. Excuse me, I’m sorry, the mayor had a statement beforehand – before Jesse comes on board. Sorry, Mr. Mayor – and Letitia James also?
Mayor Bill de Blasio: Yes. It’s all good. We’re going to make it work. The smorgasbord is going to have something for everybody. Thank you very much, commissioner. Commissioner, I never fail to take the occasion to express my appreciation for what you’ve achieved because it’s extraordinary. Under your leadership, this city is safer than ever. 2014 – an extraordinary year, a record year in so many ways. And as I’m saying to people all over the country – the lowest murder since 1963 – the lowest rate of murder since 1963 in this city is something to be extraordinarily proud of. So, Commissioner Bratton, to you and all of your top leadership, and all the men and women of the NYPD, I express my appreciation and I commend you for the progress we continue to make.
The progress that’s made by this department is because of an ethic – an ethic that is focused on innovation, on constantly improving the work. Commissioner Bratton epitomizes this in what he did by developing the CompStat system. It’s, I think, the epitome of this notion in the history of our city and the history of policing in our city. But that idea of constantly innovating, constantly trying to take advantage of the newest technology, looking at ways to do things better and differently than before – that pervades this agency and it’s part of why it is the finest police force in this country. There’s a long tradition of innovation and we’re building on that today.
Today, we’re rolling out cutting edge technology to make the city safer, to make our neighborhoods safer, to keep our officer’s safer. This new gunshot detection system is going to do a world of good in terms of going after the bad guys in this town, going after people who fire their weapons and who we need to identify immediately. The ShotSpotter system is going to allow us to decrease response time getting to the site of a shooting, and it’s going to allow us to deeply enhance the safety of our communities and the communication between police and community because when something happens, we’re going to know about it instantly.
I want to thank, in addition to Commissioner Bratton, all of the leaders who are here today. Of course, I want to thank Public Advocate Tish James, who you’ll hear from in just a moment, who’s been a tremendous voice for deepening our efforts to keep communities safe and bringing police and community together. I want to thank First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker, of course, Chief Jimmy O’Neill, Chief Boyce, Chief Gomez, Chief Nikunen, and you’re going to hear from Deputy Commissioner Jesse Tisch in just a moment on the details of the program as well.
It’s also crucial to thank the community leaders who are here because there are many people in this city who have fought against violence at the community level. There’s so much the NYPD does, but you’ll hear from the NYPD how much they rely upon community leaders to fight against violence, to organize against violence, to share information with the police, to stand up in their own communities and push back against the forces of disorder. Some of the individuals here today have an extraordinary history of standing up for their communities. And let me just say at the outset, people have stood up for their communities in many cases where it was not easy, where it took not only sacrifice, but it took a willingness to withstand the threats and all of the challenges that came with it. These are heroes because they would not give up on their neighborhoods, and they became crucial allies. And when we remember that 20-plus years of decreasing crime in this city, so many people in this room are responsible and that includes the community leaders who stood up. So I want to thank you all, and I want to name them – let’s appreciate their efforts – Francis and Halvard Brown from Red Hook – from the community precinct council and the tenants association – both, I believe? Getting it,right? Okay; Pastor Jay Gooding and his wife Nicole from Stand Up to Violence; and Myrna Encarnacion from the Bronx Grandmothers L.O.V. Program. L.O.V – L-O-V – stands for love over violence. And these grandmothers – many of these grandmothers experience loss. They lost children to violence and in so many cases, became the caregiver for their grandchildren. They stared down violence and did so much for their communities, and are feeling the effects of that violence in their own lives. And that is incredibly admirable for what they have done for this city.
So, it’s an important day for this city because we’re really stepping into a whole new world now where we can use technology in such a powerful way to aid the police in what they do. ShotSpotter detects and reports gunshots effectively, instantly. The ShotSpotter system has gone live today in the Bronx and it will start next week in Brooklyn. This will be in some key areas as we establish this pilot program. And it was very important to get this done that the NYPD coordinate with other city agencies, particularly in the sighting of the mechanisms. And I want to thank all the other agencies that played such an important role. What you get with ShotSpotter is real-time information so the police can respond so much faster. It increases the chances of catching the shooter. It increases the chances of recovering the weapons. It increases our chances of stopping further crime thereafter because you instantly know what has happened and where it’s happened. The audio sensors detect gunfire, pinpoint the shots, literally, to within feet of where they have occurred. And that gives the police the ability to immediately get to the scene, dispatch is alerted within seconds and notify the units in the area. And they bring up cameras that are part of this apparatus, so they get an instant visual feed. Jesse will go into the details.
This has so much to do with fighting crime and it has so much to do with keeping our officers safe, not only because there’s fewer weapons that will be on the streets, but also our officers will go into a situation with a much fuller picture of what they're going to encounter. They won’t go in blind. They’re going to have a lot of information as they approach the scene of a crime. This is one crucial technological innovation and it’s going to match beautifully with a second crucial technological innovation, which Commissioner Bratton and I unveiled with District Attorney Vance a few months back – the $160 million dollar smartphone and tablet initiative. Between the two of them, our officers are going to have so much more information so much more quickly. It’s going to revolutionize policing. And we’re already doing so much right in this town, in terms of policing. This is going to take us forward in a very positive manner.
Before this technology was available, the reality that we’ve lived with was by the time a shot was reported – remember, it meant someone had to actually call in the report. If an officer wasn’t on the scene coincidentally, a citizen had to call in the report. The report then had to filter down the line. By the time the police got the report – often not a detailed report – in so many cases, the perpetrator’s gotten away without a trace. And this is going to turn things on its head. This is going to be a whole new ballgame where the police have the information instantly. And it’s going to send a message out over communities that if you fire a weapon, the police are going to know instantly. So, there’s going to be a deterrent effect. Some of the bad guys in this town are going to get the message that if they fire their weapon, the police will know instantly wherever there is a ShotSpotter apparatus.
Other cities have had a great experience with ShotSpotter. Some places that have had their share of crime, including Camden, New Jersey and New Haven, Connecticut – and they’ve seen a decrease in shootings. There’ll be, in this pilot program, 300 units installed across 15 square miles in precincts with a historically high level of shootings. For people who live in those communities, this will be a difference maker. And again, our community leaders here today have spent too many nights where they’ve heard the sound of gunshots out their window. Too many people in this city in too many neighborhoods have heard gunshots at night as a sad soundtrack to their lives. It’s not something anyone should have to live with. Where we put in ShotSpotter, we know it’s going to make a difference. Pastor Gooding said very simply, anything to help reduce gun violence is a blessing – profound blessing for our neighborhoods. And this is going to make such a difference. But pastor, your experience – you’ve been on the frontline. I want to use your example because I think it speaks so much to the challenge – born and raised in Williamsbridge. You’ve seen the effects of gun violence year in and year out. You lead the anti-gun violence program at Jacobi Hospital, and you work with shooting victims. You work in the community to deescalate the potential for violent incidents to stop retaliation before it happens. This is an extraordinary human element of crime fighting and the coordination between police and community. Let’s add the technology that our community leaders deserve and our police deserve to really take us to the next level.
The pastor will tell you he’s optimistic about what ShotSpotter can mean. And I think when people see it, they’re going to feel more protected. They’re going to feel empowered. They’re going to feel that things are continuing in the right direction. We are investing in the safety of our city with ShotSpotter. We’re investing in the safety of our officers. We’re investing in the relationship between police and community. And we’re very much investing in our future with this technology. Just a couple of words in Spanish before we call up the public advocate.
[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]
With that, we welcome our public advocate.
Commissioner Bratton: A quick summary for you – the system went live in the Bronx. It will go on live in Brooklyn next week – ten precincts, two additional PSAs, $1.5 million dollar pilot program for the first year. The system is in place in many other cities around the country. The enhancement here is that we are to build it into our existing Domain Awareness System, which is continuing to grow – additional cameras, additional license plate scanners, and a little later this year – we already gave you a briefing, as you may recall – almost 6,000 of our vehicles will have GPS locating devices in them. So an additional feature will be – they see shots fired, calls come in and are documented, like you see in the screen behind us – the dispatchers, the supervisors will also be able to see where is the nearest New York City Police Department vehicle and personnel nearest to the scene where the shooting is occurring. If we have video information showing the description of the individual fleeing, we’ll be able to give that information to those cars.
So, the technology, as it emerges – the Domain Awareness System – is going to significantly change our crime fighting, and our crime prevention, and our crime reduction capabilities. So the system, again, is fast. It has improved significantly its accuracy over the years. Additional enhancements, we anticipate, coming forward – will be, at some point and time, as the technology is perfected. It may also be able to detect different types of weapons – calibers, if you will. An additional feature is the system is able to detect if there is more than one firearm being used in an incident. This is very valuable information to our officers if they’re dispatched to a scene – to indicate they’re going to an incident in which one, two, three, or maybe four firearms may be actually being used at that incident location. So there’s a significant officer safety enhancement feature to this system – also, as we go forward with it, officers having a much better idea what’s going on.
And I’ll close by pointing out that, around the country, cities that have worked with this system indicate that on average, sometimes in excess of 75 percent of shots-fired calls are never called in to 9-1-1. 75 percent – that’s a phenomenal underreporting of incidents of violence in any city. So we will hopefully, over a very short period of time, see if in fact, that underreporting is in fact occurring here in New York City. It also provides us significantly enhanced ability to retrieve evidence. The officers go to the scene, they will be able to search immediately around the area where the shots were fired, see if there are shell casings there that we might be able to retrieve. Additionally – in addition to our 8,000 cameras, they can also scan to see what other cameras in the area – like we do in a traditional crime scene – may have recorded those shots being fired. So in addition to our 8,000 cameras, it’s those tens, if not hundreds of thousands of additional cameras on private property that we might be able to access to further our evidence-gathering capability. So with that, what I’d like to do is open it up for questions specific to this topic. And then, once we exhaust those, we can then move on to general police crime questions before moving on to those involving the mayor. So with that, Jesse, if you can join me back up here? Anything having to do with the technology aspect of it – just going to quickly bounce the ball back to Jesse.
Question: I think the mayor mentioned the deterrent effect [inaudible] underreporting of shots fired and the city has seen an increase in the number of shootings so far. Can you say whether or not there’ll be an increase in the number of shootings reported after this system has been rolled out [inaudible]
Commissioner Bratton: The question is that – will there be an increase in the number of shootings reported? There will certainly be an increase in our statistics in number of shots-fired calls, which we intimately track currently. On the chief’s department report I get each day, we have the recorded instances – usually 9-1-1 calls – of shots fired. So I would anticipate very quickly, we’ll see an increase in the number of instances of shots fired. As to whether that leads to an increase in crimes committed – apart from the shooting of the weapons – we’ll have to wait and see as we go forward. Jesse?
Deputy Commissioner Jessica Tisch, Information Technology, NYPD: Since the Bronx went live this morning, we have had one live ShotSpotter job, or alert, that went off, and that alert was not associated with a call to 9-1-1. So, ShotSpotter was the only way we knew about that job. Again, there – there were three shots that were fired. And if you listen to the audio, it’s very identifiable.
Commissioner Bratton: Another advantage of this is that, as we perfect the system going forward, certain neighborhoods were aware that different crews, different gangs are fighting with each other. So, if we get a series of shots fired in one location –as part of our predictive policing model – there is the potential ability to identify, well, we have shots fired here – we know that particular crew and that neighborhood is fighting with a crew in an adjacent neighborhood. So the idea of retaliatory shootings may be occurring for shots fired that did not result in anybody being hit, but a potential retaliation. So there’s a predictive policing component that we’ll be watching very closely and building into the system also, as it goes forward.
Commissioner Bratton: You have two questions – in terms of the costing of this pilot program for approximately portions of 17 precincts and three PSAs, the first year is $1.5 million dollars. And that’s the pay to put in – the company installs 300 sensors, and then the contract with their sensor in California that monitors this system and then gives us quick feedback on it. So, expansion beyond that will be subject – if we’re happy with it after a year, it will be the subject of negotiations with them going forward. It is correct that the reporting that while this was being installed – and it was up and functioning in certain areas – it did, in fact, record the shots fired during the murder of our two detectives, Liu and Ramos.
Commissioner Bratton: An additional piece of evidence, in terms of documenting the number of shots that were fired, the time sequence, et cetera, and specific location. This would be, again, something in the future, going forward, that in any instances we would be aware of shots being fired before they’re even called into 9-1-1 – even if they’re not called into 9-1-1. What I mentioned about the location devices being installed on all of our patrol vehicles. We would be instantly able to put up on that map – where is every police car in that area. So in the instance of – in this instance – two officers being murdered – we would be able to identify that we have several cars in that area and attempt to reach out to them, are you okay? And so the combination of features that we’re acquiring in the department is going to be a very significant safety enhancement, as well as public safety enhancement, going forward.
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: In the example where the two detectives were murdered, I just want to point out that the sensors were up, so we were able to go back to the sensors after the fact and look to see if they had picked up the audio. The real-time alerting feature at that time had not been set up, so we did not get a real-time alert at the NYPD about those shots that were fired.
Commissioner Bratton: In the back there, please? You may have to speak up, we have –
Commissioner Bratton: Jesse, can you repeat the question?
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: The – well, the first question – the second was, was only $1.5 million invested in this so far? The answer is, yes. Your first question was?
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: Okay. Today, it gets dispatched from here over zone radio – over the radio. However, it is also going to be available to the precinct commanding officers in the affected precincts. They will be able to monitor the alerts associated with their precincts in real time as well. And then, when the tablets and the smartphones roll out, it will also – those alerts will also be available to the officers who have those devices.
Commissioner Bratton: NY1?
Question: [inaudible] people can’t tell the difference between the car back firing [inaudible]
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: I neglected to mention that there is one step of the process that is very important, and that step is when the sensors hear gunshots, the first place the alarm goes is to ShotSpotter. They have an operational command center not located in New York, where it is reviewed by a trained technician. And that trained technician, usually within 30 seconds, is able to determine – is this a true positive? Is this gunshots that are being fired? Or is this an engine backfiring, firecrackers, whatever? And in the examples of true positives, they forward that alert into the NYPD’s Domain Awareness System. This is very important for us because in 2011, we piloted similar technology – it was a gunshot detection system. Actually, the technology was different, but it was a gunshot detection system. And there, the pilot was unsuccessful ultimately, because we had so many examples of false positives that the whole system just because, for lack of a better word, noise. The other key difference between this system and the system that we piloted back in 2011 is that to trigger an alert here, you have to have three sensors that pick up the sound of the gunshots. In the old system, all they required was one sensor to pick up the sound of the gunshots. So the old system was one sensor, different type of technology, and no ShotSpotter-type call center clearing out the noise.
Commissioner Bratton: Jesse, could you repeat the question, please?
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: The question is who owns the data? Is it the city or ShotSpotter? The NYPD owns the data that is collected by the ShotSpotter system and put into the Domain Awareness System.
Question: What about the other boroughs [inaudible] neighborhoods in Queens, in Manhattan, Staten Island [inaudible]
Commissioner Bratton: The selection of the precincts in Brooklyn and Bronx are reflective of two things – one, history of precincts with the highest numbers of shooting over time and then, very specifically, most recent history of shooting with victims. So the other areas of the city are fortunate that they don’t have that distinction. That was the selection process for picking these initial 17 precincts and three PSAs. Again, over time, we will probably seek to expand it. But right now, as I think you’re well aware, the Bronx and Brooklyn unfortunately have more than their fair share and more than the majority of the shootings and shooting victims that do occur in the city.
Question: Commissioner, what’s your timeline [inaudible] one year? Six months? Two years?
Commissioner Bratton: Jesse, if you would, please?
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: This pilot program is a one-year pilot program. So we will be taking our time to assess the system, hone our operational procedures around it, before we roll out to additional locations.
Commissioner Bratton: In the back?
Commissioner Bratton: Jesse, did you hear that? I’m sorry.
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: So the –
Commissioner Bratton: Repeat it, if you can.
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: The first question was about the details of the shooting that triggered an alert in the Bronx this morning. That shooting occurred Monday, March 16th, 2015 at 112 hours – 228 West Tremont Avenue, in the 4-6 Precinct. The shot count there was three. We had four sensors that picked up that shooting. The closest one was 115 feet away. The furthest one there was over a half mile away. There were no CCTVs in the vicinity of that sensor, and as I mentioned before, there were no 9-1-1 calls associated with it. Your second question was?
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: We went to visit a number of cities that have deployed the same or similar technology as we were doing our due diligence. We visited Washington D.C; Nassau County; in New Jersey we visited Atlantic City, Camden, Newark, East Orange, and Plainfield. And I do not believe that in the course of our due diligence, we came up with any cities that were having legal issues associated with the gunshot detection technology.
Question: Two of the cities in California that have used ShotSpotter [inaudible]
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: Yes. A number of cities have tried gunshot detection technology over the past, including – and have been unsuccessful – including the NYPD. And I think it’s informative that we waited four years before we tried it again, because a lot of the issues that other cities have experienced are very similar to the types of issues that we experienced in our 2011 pilot – too much noise, too many false positives. You hear these statistics about 99 percent false positives, and what we have tried to do is mitigate those issues through, for example, requiring that three sensors pick up the gunshots, rather than one, before we get alerted, using ShotSpotter’s operation center as a, essentially, first adjudicator of the alerts. So yes, we tried to learn from what the other cities that we visited – how they benefited from ShotSpotter, how they operationalized it, but also tried to learn from some of the difficulties that they experienced with it.
Commissioner Bratton: So, I guess I didn’t – not quite understand your question.
Question: Right now, now we’re going to learn about a lot more shots fired –
Commissioner Bratton: Correct – right, over and above what we normally document through 9-1-1.
Question: Currently, 9-1-1 shots fired [inaudible]
Commissioner Bratton: It’s – what the whole effort we have is to – timely, accurate information. And based on my awareness through other chiefs of police around the country who have this system, they consistently indicate that there is a very large underreporting of shots fired in certain neighborhoods of their city, usually the high-crime neighborhoods. So, in terms of trying to have an accurate picture of what’s actually happening, this will assist us significantly. My expectation is the number of shots-fired reports will go up. But it also will be very helpful to us with the predictive models that we’re developing in that the – often times these incidents – particularly if they’re in a crew area, and we know that one crew is fighting with another crew – that there’s a retaliation potential where we’d want to – in addition to sending officers to this location to check out the shots fired – over time, we’ll get very good at sending officers to another location, where very quickly, we may have a retaliatory shooting. We’re pretty good about knowing when a couple of these crews are at war with each other or fighting with each other. And I’ll give you an example from Oakland – when I was consulting in Oakland before taking this position. Oakland has had this technology for a while. I’m getting off the plane, being met by a lieutenant from the Oakland PD. He informs me that they just had a murder in Oakland, and so we’re now going to go to that murder scene. As we’re going to the murder scene – we get to the murder scene and we’re just leaving it – it was documented on a ShotSpotter call also. The call comes in from ShotSpotter about shots fired a short distance away. Immediately, there’s an Oakland police officer on the radio – that he is basically calling out shots being fired, officer in trouble. Then 9-1-1, sometime later – a 9-1-1 call comes out – because a 9-1-1 call started coming in about that round of shots. The ShotSpotter picked it up first, notice is going out, an officer in the vicinity of the shots fired is calling it in his radio, and then 9-1-1 is – call starting to come in. So, I got a firsthand example of – second shooting was in retaliation for the murder that I had first visited. So everything I just relayed to you, I had a real-time example in Oakland back in 2013, I think it was.
Commissioner Bratton: I’m not sure if shots fired – do we put out shots-fired calls currently on our documentation?
Deputy Commissioner Tisch: [inaudible] shots fired –
Commissioner Bratton: I’m more than happy to put that out. That’s pretty basic information that we have.
Commissioner Bratton: Let me just take the one last – over here, Steve. You’ve been very patient. I’m looking forward to your performance at the Inner Circle this year.
Commissioner Bratton: All I want to know is who’s playing me?
Commissioner Bratton: Well okay, we’ll know who to blame then. Okay, on to you.
Question: So, the term sensor has been used – are these essentially wireless microphones? Are they placed on utility poles? Is there a certain decibel level that has to be broken for these things to light up? What the – does anybody know? I mean, that’s a little in the weeds, I know. Also, with police officers getting this information so quickly, will they be going into hotter crime scenes? Because, you know, they’re getting the information so much more quickly, people there are more likely to be –
Commissioner Bratton: We are hoping that the response will be faster to shots – the example I just gave in Oakland, before the 9-1-1 call started coming in, ShotSpotter had already picked it up, as well as an officer who heard the number of shots, who was calling it on his radio. In terms of the devices themselves, they’re very similar in appearance to the cellular phone boxes that you see all over the place. They look very similar to that. And in terms of the detection capabilities – that with the exception of on occasion .22 caliber – it’s a little below what they can pick up accurately. And additionally, shots fired in a building, they’re not going to pick up. Or potentially, shots fired in a building out into the street – the detection sometimes would be incomplete on that type of incident. It’s really designed to deal with shots being fired in public spaces.
Unknown: Folks, what we’re going to do now – just, we’re going to have a little briefing on some other prime issues and then open it up to questions.
Commissioner Bratton: Dermot Shea will give you a quick summary on crime information as of the CompStat report that went out this morning. As you know, at the end of each month, we’re now in the practice of giving you a summary of the previous months. But in as much as this press availability was occurring today, we’ll give you a quick snapshot as to how we’re doing so far this year. And it also points out how much the percentages can go up and down in a very short period of time reporting. Last week, the shooting incidents with victims percentage was up. This week, it’s gone down fairly dramatically because of a significantly decline in shootings with victims last week. Dermot?
Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea, Operations, NYPD: Good afternoon, everyone. For the week that just passed, ending this Sunday at 2400 hours, the city was down seven percent overall in crime. So for the 28 days, and for the year to date, New York City in overall index crime is down 10 percent. This past week, when you look at the violence, we have 19 shooting incidents across New York City. That was versus 30 shooting incidents for the week before. So to give you an idea of how much it does fluctuate – last week, at this time, we were up 21 percent. We’re now up 11 percent overall. The shooting number is plus-19 for the year, coming out of probably our lowest period of the year. We are plus-19 in shooting incidents and plus-11 in murders. And that plus-11 includes six that have been reclassified from last year. Just this past week, we had an individual that was put on the murder count that was actually stabbed last summer, passed away, and now it is being counted as a murder. When you look at the – overall through the different boroughs of the city – every borough – every patrol borough and geographic borough is down for the 28 days and for the year to date in overall crime. And housing crime and transit crime are both also down. Transit really is jumping off the page. We had 29 crimes for the entire transit system last week. Transit overall is down 10 percent for the month and 20 percent for the year to date. Really, 29 crimes across the city with the amount of ridership that we have is very, very significant. We’re down 18 percent for the month and 18 percent for the year in arrests. The arrests have, for the most part, leveled off from where we had seen that dip earlier in the year. And when you look at the violence, which continues to be the focus of what we’re seeing – 19 shooting incidents. Brooklyn is down in shooting incidents, primarily being led by the 73rd Precinct, which is down 12 shootings. There was a bit of a gang crew dispute going on there last year that was very problematic in the first part of the year. That was handled with additional assets, and now we’re down 12 shootings in the 7-3. We continue to try to identify any individuals and groups that are responsible for the violence throughout the city in any borough, and we’re working very closely with our partners in the various prosecutors’ office to put cases together. And we anticipate, as the years go by, those cases are going to prove very fruitful in pushing the violence further down.
Unknown: Folks, we’ll open up to any police-related questions first, and then after that, if anything for the mayor.
Question: There was a report about [inaudible] editing Wikipedia pages related to Eric Garner [inaudible] if there will be any action taken against officers [inaudible]?
Commissioner Bratton: You’re referring to two officers, who have been unidentified, who used department equipment to access Wikipedia and make entries. Those are the only two we’ve been able to identify. And we’re in the process of reviewing our social media policies as to giving additional guidance to our personnel as the number of devices is expanding rapidly – as to what you can use them for. We have a multi-tier system – a three-tier system in which individuals are authorized to do certain things up to a certain degree. But Wikipedia, for example, would be one – right now, we don’t have a policy specific to accessing that site. Again, we’ve identified only two instances where that’s occurred I think, over the past year. So it’s evidently not visited too often by our people – that they feel they need to make a correction.
Mayor: Just a quick addition I want to throw in – this is a well-known city policy that people are not supposed to do personal activities on city computers or other city equipment during city work time. So let’s be very clear about this. There’s more work to be done to refine all of our policies, but we’re quite clear that when you’re using a city computer, it’s supposed to be for city business. This was not authorized city business. Second, outside of your workplace, when you’re not on city time, you know you have the rights as an American citizen to express your opinion. And Wikipedia is certainly an interesting place to express your opinions, since people like to alter the different entries in different ways. But it’s not an appropriate thing for someone to be doing on city time.
Commissioner Bratton: I’m sorry?
Commissioner Bratton: They have been identified. I don’t anticipate any punishment, being quite frank with you. In terms – other than admonishment, advising them of the overall department policy, and as the mayor has already indicated, a general city policy. Again, under our three-tier system, certain individuals are authorized to access for certain purposes. My understanding is these two are not authorized to access Wikipedia. We don’t access to correct the information – so incorrect – most of the time on Wikipedia. We’d spent half our life trying to correct it, so why bother? But in this instance here, I do not anticipate any significant disciplinary action being directed against the two detectives.
Question: Commissioner, the beating that was videotaped and propagated last week in the McDonald’s in Brooklyn – one of the defendants had six prior arrests. [Inaudible] what happened to those cases? [Inaudible]
Commissioner Bratton: Let me ask – Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce can speak to that particular case. He’s been leading that investigation. Bob?
Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, NYPD: Good afternoon. Five of the six individuals were arrested and one is pending right now. We’re seeking that individual now. She’s a 15-year-old girl. This particular young lady you’re talking about had six priors. Most of them were domestic in nature against her own family, and those are pending cases. She’s has six arrests since she was 16 years old. So they are pending, as far as I know, in family court – prior to her 16th birthday. So I don’t want to speak too much about that. She – those happened when she was younger.
Mayor: Just a couple of points on this – look, that video is very troubling. Chirlane and I have looked at it, and we’ve looked at it from the perspective of being parents and it’s deeply disturbing to see young people attacking each other in that way. It is a reminder of how much more work we have to do – that some of our young people have gone astray and we have to do a lot more work to reach them and try and get them on the right path. And a lot of that has to happen early in their lives. And some of that also involves providing them with the mental health services they deserve, because some of what you see in that video is not acceptable behavior in any way, shape, or form. Second, it is disturbing that there wasn’t an attempt to intervene, certainly by any adults who were present, until well into the incident. Even their fellow students should have stepped in to intervene. You don’t have someone being hurt in front of you and do nothing about it. So it’s one of these incidents that I think has touched people, and reminded us of how much work we have to do. But I also would make a very clear statement – that’s not acceptable. And if anyone sees, particularly a young person being attacked, and you’re in a position to do something about it, don’t stand idly by, or at least immediately notify the police so the police can intervene.
Commissioner Bratton: This morning, I think you’re aware we had two incidents – one in the 1-0-4 and 1-0-7. I’m going to ask Chief Boyce to give you a quick update on both, in which – in both instances, our officers displayed exemplary performance of duty in dealing with the encounters they had in those two incidents. So I’m going to ask the chief to – we’ve had a number of inquiries through media about the incidents. So he can give you the update as to what exactly occurred in the 1-0-4 and 1-0-7 this morning.
Chief Boyce: This morning, two incidents in Queens – both traumatic incidents involving handguns, where officers responded tactically correct, as well as showed great restraint and resolve in terminating both conditions without gunfire, without violence. First of all – and by the way, the civilians who helped us out in this case can’t be understated. They called 9-1-1, gave us specific information. I’ll go through with my narratives and you’ll see what I’m talking about –helped us quite a bit and probably saved lives by their immediate response. This morning at 8:41 in the 1-0-4 Precinct in Maspeth, Queens on 56th Avenue, we have an individual – Jeremy Clark. He is from Rochester, New Hampshire. He is a 27-year-old male. He gets out of his car at the corner of 61st Street and 56th Street, and he parks his red Dodge Dart with a New Hampshire registration rather haphazardly – pointed into the curb, and then he walks westbound on 56th Avenue. At this point, a young lady is getting into her van. She dropped her child off at daycare, went in the house, came back out to retrieve a battery charger for her cellphone, at which point, she sees him with a gun in his hand walking westbound on the north side of the street. And she tells us later that he looked – like a deranged look on his face. She sees him and she immediately goes into the car and hides, and then she hears a round go off. We believe he fired at her. At this point, he continues down the street and fires two more rounds. We have an individual driving by who pulls to the side and gets on his cell phone – reports the shots fired and a man with a gun. He then – police officers from the 1-0-4 Precinct immediately respond – one coming eastbound on 56th Avenue, one coming westbound – tactically approaching this individual with a gun on his hand – with a gun in his hand, excuse me. At this point, he sees the officers coming and he sees a young lady come out of a building and open a door. And he goes into that building and then hides in that building as well. She then goes – runs to the back of the house and she calls 9-1-1. And she reports a burglary in progress with a gun. These officers, that time, see him. They position themselves outside. They begin to engage him in conversation through the threshold of the door. So they’re looking into their left, and they’re speaking with him. And they challenge him – they say, we’re the police, put the gun down, come out. He says, you’re not the police. One of the officers then takes his shield and sticks it out and says, yes I am, I am the police. At this point, he fires at the officers – one round that goes into a wall, not hitting the officers. There’s four officers, at this point, out front – two sector cars on either end. They retreat back to a safe distance and they order him out again. Now, he comes out with his hands up and screaming and yelling. They then arrest him – had to fight him to the ground and arrest him. We go back inside and we find the handgun. It is a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic handgun with one live round in the chamber. In all, he fired four rounds – one at the officers, one at the young lady, and two in the street we have not found. We do not have a criminal history on him yet. He’s from New Hampshire. He is with another individual with a rather severe – severe criminal history. We’re trying to figure things out. We believe both are either mentally challenged or on drugs, and probably the latter – they’re on drugs. So right now, we have everybody in custody. We’re trying to figure things out now. Again, the officers who sent the cars from the 1-0-4 acted admirably in not returning fire and not making it worse, because there was a woman inside that apartment. The second incident we have is in the 1-0-7 in Jamaica Estates – this on 168th Street in Queens – Queens South. Basically, at about 8’o clock this morning, we have a home invasion at that location. The owner of the premise is a business owner. He owns a nightclub in the 1-0-3. This individual we later identify as Edward Leger. He is a 35-year-old male. He is on parole for robbery. He has 21 priors. He goes into that residence, forces his way in, and does a robbery of this individual. Someone in that apartment, who was not in the room during the robbery, calls from the back room on his cellphone and says, this is a home invasion robbery of my home. And officers start responding from the 1-0-7 at that point. Within a short amount of time, he takes several hundred dollars from this individual and he leaves. As he’s walking out, he must – we’re projecting from this point because we’re still talking to him – that he hears the sirens and he hears people coming. He walks about four houses down and goes inside that location, where he holds three people hostage at around 9’o clock in the morning. And at this point, a person inside that residence texts his brother outside that he’s being ransom – that he’s being held hostage, excuse me – at which time, that person approaches the police outside and tells them this is going on inside. About three and a half hours back and forth with the perpetrator – emergency service units and hostage negotiators talk him out and we place him under arrest with no violence. We recover a 9mm Luger handgun, fully loaded. And due to the actions of some very brave people who were the victims of the crimes, and the officers’ great response and restraint, we were able to close these cases out of these individuals. More investigation is needed. We have to find out more about both individuals. That’s what I have.
Unknown: Maybe two questions if we can. Alright, any topic [inaudible]
Chief Boyce: We have a couple different cases in the 8-8 Precinct. Right now, we’re looking at them as well. One, we were able to – I’m sorry there was three in the 8-8. One of which we found out was a young man throwing snowballs at a car. That’s what happened. That’s why he stopped. The other two, we’re trying to look into now and see whether they were lured or not. There was another one in the 1-0-1 precinct, where will put out an image of a vehicle. Right now, we cannot make the plate. We’re going to send it out to a private vendor and see if they could pull up that plate for us and see what’s going on with that. But those investigations are ongoing right now in two different parts of the city. The 8-8 – we do not think they’re linked because it’s two different cars. But we’ll go forward and see if we can find something.
Commissioner Bratton: I’m sorry, who are you inquiring about?
Commissioner Bratton: Let me ask Bob Boyce once again to fill you in on the NYPD history with him. I won’t comment on the LAPD side of it. But Bob can just give you a quick snapshot of our history involving the first murder.
Chief Boyce: Just to answer your question, we have an active missing persons case on Kathy Durst. And we’re working – as late as Friday, we spoke with the New York State Police on their case in Westchester County. That’s an active homicide investigation. We have not dealt with the FBI, as far as the California side of this. So our end of this is a missing persons – working with state police in regards to that case.
Chief Boyce: What time did I speak to them?
Chief Boyce: Well we’ve been going on for the last couple of weeks in regards to that. We had to – there’s a lot of archival information that we’re pulling forth on our investigation as well, from back on that time. She lived in the 2-0 Precinct on the Upper West Side. So they caught the case. So there’s a lot of work done on the case. We’re providing that to investigators from the New York State Police.
Unknown: Okay, folks. Last one. Does anyone have any?
Chief Boyce: Not that I’m aware of. No, we have not received any – and the FBI, I believe, made that arrest. Not the LAPD, but I’m sure they worked with them. But we have not – anything to do with that part of the investigation.
Unknown: Thank you, folks. Thanks everybody.
Mayor: Alright, let’s go to other topics. You were going to deprive them of their smorgasbord, Steve. What was that? Smorgasbord time, yes.
Question: I’m not sure you saw this morning [inaudible] lateness generator –
Mayor: A lateness generator?
Question: Yes, it took the reasons that you’ve given for having been late in the past.
Mayor: Okay, I’m impressed.
Question: You plug it in, and it gives the reasons that you gave and then you [inaudible]. I was wondering if you had seen that and then –
Mayor: I look forward to this work of art.
Mayor: It’s always, you know, a lot going on. But as I’ve said, one of my New Years resolutions is to work on punctuality. I’ll continue to do so. Yes?
Question: St. Patrick’s Day Parade – any change in –
Mayor: No, you know, the final decision by the parade leadership was to have the one delegation from NBC, which, you know, is progress. And I do commend. But it is not, in that sense, open to folks who would like to participate who don’t happen to work for NBC. So I think we still have to go farther. I will not be marching. But I look forward to progress in the future. I do think that a first step was taken this year. And I’m hopeful that soon, there will be others taken. Look, you know, you may have seen the coverage of the Boston St. Patrick’s Parade in South Boston, which is now open to members of the LGBT community. Commissioner Bratton and I know something about South Boston and its history – that it’s an extraordinary statement that now, there, there is a sense of openness. I give Mayor Walsh tremendous credit for what he helped to bring about there. In Dublin, the St. Patrick’s Parade is open to all. So this is where we need to go. We’re not quite there yet. I look forward to more progress in the future.
Question: Do you think Andrea Stewart-Cousins should be a part of the budget negotiations process with Senator Skelos and Senator Klein and –
Mayor: Look, I don’t get into the intricacies of Albany and its processes. I think, as the Democratic leader in the Senate, she was a very important voice. So I think her ideas should be duly noted in the process. But I don’t want to get into the question of who should be in the room and who shouldn’t.
Question: Just a follow-up to the Wikipedia and that story – in 2012, one of your staffers, when you were public advocate, made changes to your Wikipedia page. [Inaudible] and how do you distinguish between what you said was some sort of expression with regards to the changes made at the NYPD and your own staffer making changes?
Mayor: Again, I don’t remember that incident, so I’ll just speak about the policies of today, which are clear. If you’re doing something that’s about your own personal interests and personal opinions, you don’t do that on city time. You don’t do that with city equipment. It’s as simple as that.
Question: So are changes being [inaudible] by staffers?
Mayor: I don’t know of any.
Question: [Inaudible] Israeli election. Are you rooting for anyone?
Mayor: That’s obviously for the people of Israel to make their own determination. I was surprised by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement about Palestinian statehood. That seemed to be a step away from a principle that has been pretty universally acknowledged all over the world as a goal, you know, to have a two-state solution – certainly a deviation from the policy that the United States of America has supported for many, many years across both Democratic and Republican administrations. So that was surprising, but again, that’s up to the Israeli people.
Phil Walzak: One or two more guys.
Question: Can you explain why you used the back door at City Hall this morning –
Mayor: It was a very large gathering there – unusually large and people were all over the plaza. And it just made more sense, because it was a lot of folks milling around, to go through the back.
Phil Walzak: Last call, guys.
Mayor: Last call. Going once, going twice. Yeah?
Mayor: I’m sorry?
Mayor: Well, I haven’t seen all the details of it, but I believe one of the issues is the disability question. I’ve said before, I’ll say again, you know, there’s a valid concern that we want to find a way to address. I don’t think going back to the old approach on pensions is the right way to do it. But I think there are other ways that we can address it and we’re looking forward to doing that. Thanks, everyone.