Effective coordinated law enforcement and prosecution strategies will combat the isolated shooting spikes that persist despite a dramatic overall reduction in violent crime in New York City.
- Every major type of crime plummeted over the last two decades – both murders and robberies have dropped by over 80 percent. The NYPD recently announced that June 2015 was the safest June in the city since 1993.
- Despite these reductions, New York City experiences isolated shooting spikes, concentrated in a few neighborhoods and largely committed by a few gangs and street crews
- In 2014, there were 3291 felony firearms cases in New York City. Brooklyn had the most disposed felony firearms cases, with 1,341 (41%).
The Mayor’s Office has made a series of targeted investments and implemented initiatives over the last year with the express goal on concentrating enforcement resources on the few individuals driving the City’s remaining violent crime. Including:
- Project Fast Track – launched in January 2016 – is a system-wide partnership between police, prosecutors, the Mayor’s Office and the courts to focus on keeping shooters off the streets.
- A $10 million investment, over five years, in the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s office to expand enforcement at the nexus of narcotics and violence.
In addition to these initiatives, new anti-violence prosecution strategies include:
A new pledge of $22 million in recurring annual funding to support high-priority violence reduction strategies in the District Attorneys’ offices:
- Bronx: $11.55 million to create a Rikers Island Bureau which will help further the Administration’s commitment to addressing violence on Rikers Island; create new units and enhance existing units in the areas of Domestic Violence; Conviction Integrity, Public Integrity, Immigrant Affairs, Special Investigations, Civil Litigation, Crime Strategies, Computer Forensics, and Detective Investigations; and to implement a vertical prosecution model, in which one prosecutor is assigned responsibility for a case from intake to appeal.
- Brooklyn: $1.6 million to expand the crime strategies unit; enhance the forensic science unit; enhance audit and procurement units; and resources for records management and storage.
- Manhattan: $600,000 to create an Alternatives to Incarceration Unit to help prosecutors make appropriate decisions about diversion.
- Queens: $4.6 million to support a dedicated anti-violence unit to comprehensively address gun violence; additional detective investigator squad and appeals bureau personnel; enhanced IT resources and funding to support office space needs.
- Staten Island: $3.66 million to enhance staffing in the Narcotics and Investigations Bureaus to address the heroin and prescription drug crisis, and ongoing funding for the Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities, an alternative to incarceration drug program (both of which are an extension of the Administration’s commitment to expand efforts to address opioid addiction and expand treatment options); create a dedicated domestic violence unit and additional resources to reduce caseload; create dedicated community partnerships unit that will foster connections between law enforcement and residents; resources to reduce gun related and other violent crime.
A $10 million award over five years of already-allocated funds as part of Anti-Violence Innovation Challenge. In January 2016, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice invited the District Attorneys to design innovative, anti-violence prosecution strategies that have the potential to spur systemic reform. Award funding will be split evenly across the boroughs and will support prosecutors in focusing on the highest crime neighborhoods by:
- Building on and improving existing data systems and information sharing networks to help identify drivers of shooting and gun violence and better target efforts community by community; and
- Enhancing prosecution efforts in developing complex prosecutions—often involving multi-defendant matters—that target the few gangs and street crews driving the majority of remaining violent crime in New York City.