Outgoing NYPD Department Chief Kenneth Corey this week touted the department’s decision to step up its quality of life enforcement – despite a revolving door criminal justice system that often doesn’t keep low-level criminals behind bars.
Corey — the NYPD’s highest-ranking uniformed police officer, who is set to retire next week — made the comments during a Monday night interview on “Cats at Night” with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM.
“So we went back to an app version of quality of life,” Corey said of the effort that began earlier this year. “We started it in the spring, and we ramped it up as we went along.”
The move marked a return to the zero-tolerance and “broken windows” policing strategies that were widely credited with reducing crime in the Big Apple during the 1990s.
During a March conference call with all of the department’s top brass — following a violent weekend with two dozen shooting incidents — the chief urged supervisors that their cops ” engage in quality of life offenses and criminals,” sources told the Post at the time.
Among other measures, local “neighborhood coordination officers” have shifted from assisting detectives in investigating unsolved crimes to enforcing quality of life offenses including littering and fare evasion, the sources said.
“So the officers started to deal with that, but remember, we haven’t done that for a number of years in New York,” Corey said during the radio interview. Monday.
“So we have a whole generation of police officers really … probably a third of the department, which is going to make up the bulk of the police officers who are out there on patrol who have never been involved in this type of policing before.
“So you have to teach them how to do it – which we did – and now they have to feel comfortable doing it,” he continued. “They need to know that their elected officials, their supervisors and their elected officials have their backs.”
Corey said crime in the Big Apple would decline rapidly if the state’s bail reform laws were strengthened.
“Listen to my mind – a simple adjustment of the law,” he said. “Give judges discretion to detain dangerous offenders and crime in New York drops. It doesn’t come down gradually.”
“We know who is behind the crime in New York and we continue to arrest them time and time again,” he continued. “You put these people in jail [and] crime will go down.
Corey – who joined the NYPD as a cadet in 1988 – acknowledged that some beaten up cops might feel ‘frustration’ that felons they arrested for low-level offenses are back on the streets before the ink does not dry.
“We have had several instances where officers make an arrest [and] they issue a ticket to appear, which is currently required by law,” he said. “And then, while they’re still there doing paperwork, another team of officers bring that same person back to the same station, handcuffed, for a new crime. I mean, you can imagine it’s frustrating and demoralizing at the same time.
Meanwhile, he praised cops for working ‘harder’ and ‘smarter than they’ve ever done before’ – trumpeting a 27% increase in felony arrests over the same period the last year.
“In fact, they are at a 21-year high. So the last time we made this many major arrests [was in] 2001,” he said. “Although we have to keep in mind that in 2001 we had 15,000 more crimes than today. And we also had about 9,000 more police. So fewer cops with fewer crimes, still making more arrests for that crime.
Still, the latest NYPD statistics, updated on Sunday, show an increase of nearly 28% in the seven major categories of criminal crimes compared to the same period last year – from 88,394 to 112,755 total incidents.
Grand theft, grand theft of autos and burglary saw the greatest jump during this period.
However, murders have fallen by around 12% since the start of the year. Shootings, which are not specifically included in major crime categories, are down nearly 16% since the start of the year. Gunshot victims are down nearly 15%.
But crime in transit has increased by around 35% – with a total of 2,056 incidents reported so far this year, compared to 1,521 in the same period last year.
Corey said the force knows he, Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams have their backs and the cops are “learning” about addressing quality of life issues.
“And we see these incidents continuing to increase week after week,” he said. “But it will take time. We didn’t get to the position we find ourselves in overnight and there is no easy fix for that.
New York Post