Public Safety

Crime

Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, New York City cut crime by more than 32% between 2001 and 2013, far outpacing the nation. As a result, new residents and businesses flocked to areas that were once considered highly dangerous.

NYPD Shield
In 2013, NYC was the safest big city in the country, with crime down more than 32% since 2001.
Record low number of murders
Record low number of murders in 2013.
Safer Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods that once scared away people and businesses saw many of the biggest drops in crime, spurring major revitalizations.

Progress: Crime

HISTORIC CRIME REDUCTION

Safest Big City in the Nation: Between 2002 and 2013, crime fell faster, further and with greater duration in New York than in any other major city.

Total Crime: At the end of 2013, crime was down 32% compared to 2001, despite the added demands of counterterrorism, having nearly 6,000 fewer officers in the ranks, and adding nearly a half million more people to the city’s population.

Murder: New York City set a record low number for murders in 2013. There were 9,285 fewer murders between 2002 and 2013 than in the prior twelve years.

Subway Crime: In 1990, there were nearly 50 crimes per day on the subway. In 2013, the average was 7.1 crimes a day, even with much higher ridership.

Operation Spotlight: By targeting chronic misdemeanor offenders, the percent of cases ending in jail sentences increased from 45% to 61%.

Operation Impact: Pairing rookie and veteran officers to flood high-crime zones, crime was reduced in many of these areas by more than 30%. In these zones during the most recent six months there were 33% fewer shooting incidents, 14% fewer murders and a 12% overall reduction in major felony crime.

NYCHA: Crime in NYCHA housing developments in 2012 was down 17% compared to eleven years ago.

Record of Restraint: In 2010, NYPD engaged in the fewest shooting incidents since 1972. Similarly, the rate of fatal police-involved shootings dropped to eight in 2010, compared to 93 people shot and killed in confrontations with the police in 1971. Other major police departments had two to eight times the NYPD’s rate of fatal police shootings.

2012 Murder rate in New York vs. other cities:  

  • Chicago: Three and one-half times greater than NYC

  • Philadelphia: More than four times greater than NYC

  • Boston: Nearly two times greater than NYC

  • Washington, DC: Nearly three times greater than NYC

  • Other Cities: In 2012, an individual was nearly seven times more likely to be murdered in Baltimore, and ten times more likely to be murdered in Detroit or New Orleans, as compared to New York.

INCARCERATION

Reduction in Rate of Incarceration: Between 2001 and 2013, there were 36% fewer people behind bars in New York City. During the same period, the rest of the country incarcerated more people and the rate was up by 3%.

TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENTS

Real Time Crime Center: In 2005, the NYPD opened a new supercomputer crime-fighting center at Police Headquarters. The heart of the center is a massive data warehouse containing billions of criminal and public records. Previously, a search through as many as 50 different databases was required for facts that can now be found with a single query. The power of these tools was made available on secure mobile devices for police officers to use in the field.

Using DNA to Solve Crimes: In 2006, the NYPD created the DNA HITS Information Tracking System to streamline the process of sharing DNA matches that the NYS DNA Databank generates. The City also succeeded in its advocacy of State legislation extending mandatory DNA collection. By the end of 2013, all those convicted of misdemeanors were subject to mandatory DNA collection.

Opening Lower Manhattan Security Coordination Center: Video feeds from cameras operated by private companies were combined with those from the NYPD’s own closed-circuit TV cameras, along with data from license plate readers, and biological and radiological sensors. One thousand handheld radiation pagers equipped with GPS were distributed to every sergeant on patrol in Lower Manhattan.

Emergency Communications Transformation Project: The Bloomberg administration completely overhauled and modernized the 911 system for the first time since it was created in 1968. This included streamlining the call-taking and dispatch processes and the construction of a second, fully redundant back-up call center.

Operation Crew Cut: Large hierarchical criminal gangs diminished considerably over the past 15 years. Instead, “crews,” smaller turf-based groups, became responsible for much street-level violence, small scale drug dealing and other criminal activity. In response, the NYPD developed investigative and prosecution strategies to take down existing crews and proactively intervene in the creation of new ones. These efforts led to the arrest of nearly 500 defendants in 28 different cases.

Digitally Recorded Interrogations: The Department implemented the largest initiative to digitally record custodial interrogations of suspects in custody for major crimes, including designated felony assault offenses, sex offenses and homicide offenses.

New Police Academy: Under the Bloomberg administration, New York City began the development of a state of the art Police Academy designed to conduct academic and physical training for 1,620 recruits. The facility will include classrooms, mock environments in which to conduct role play training, gymnasium space for daily training, and calisthenics, a library and a major assembly location.

Desktop Remediation Project: In 2008, the NYPD overhauled its computer network, making it 25 times faster and vastly more secure and installing 12,000 new desktop stations at 285 buildings across the City.

Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS): Department replaced a burdensome manual system that used typewriters with a state of the art automated evidence tracking system. It was deployed in 126 commands as of December 2011.

Automated Risk Assessment System for Domestic Violence: The NYPD implemented software that can scan its databases for previous domestic incidents, complaints and arrests. It checks for warrants, gun licenses and orders of protection. By assigning a point value to each case, it helps to identify those homes with highest risk of reoccurrence of violence.

Green Fleet: NYPD replaced end-of-lifecycle fossil fuel powered vehicles with Flex-Fuel, Hybrid and electronic vehicles.

Crime Reporting: There was a special branch of the NYPD responsible for ensuring the integrity of the crime data, the Quality Assurance Division, which reviewed more than 50,000 crime reports a year. 

Combating Corruption: Between 2002 and 2013, the NYPD took measures to ensure the internal department monitoring corruption was even more robust, including increasing the size of the Internal Affairs Bureau to 700 people, greater in size than virtually all police department in the United States.

JUVENILE CRIME

Created Juvenile Justice Division Within the NYPD: This division was focused solely on reducing juvenile crime, recidivism and delinquency, analyzing crime trends and coordinating juvenile enforcement throughout the department while expanding outreach to young people.

Created Program to Combat Juvenile Recidivism: The program targeted repeat juvenile offenders. After a juvenile committed a robbery, youth officers visited the offender’s home to explain the seriousness of the charges to the youth and his family. One year after the pilot started, robberies among participants fell by more than 80%. The program was expanded to locations citywide.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Police Commissioner's Liaison Unit: Members of this unit were part of a broad effort to elevate the status of community affairs within the Police Department, and reported directly to the Commissioner.

Immigration Outreach: The NYPD created a unit designed to focus on new immigrants, religious communities, and vulnerable populations such as children and seniors – and specifically communities that were experiencing rapid growth.

Muslim and Jewish Outreach: Particular emphasis was placed on reaching out to Muslim and Jewish leaders, with meetings before holidays to discuss issues of concern. 

Added Muslim Clerics to Ranks: Imams joined the NYPD as chaplains.

Creation of New Youth Sports Leagues: In 2008, NYPD created sports leagues that serve teenagers of various ethnic communities, the vast majority of which were Muslim. The leagues, which became extremely popular, were aimed at forging better and more cooperative ties between the NYPD and young people.

NYPD Approves New Muslim Fraternal Organization: In May 2008, the NYPD approved a new Muslim fraternal organization, which now has 400 members.

Advancing Community Trust Program: Held at the Apollo Theater and featuring speakers who had historically been at odds with the NYPD, this new four day program was required of all new recruits and aimed to help new officers recognize and avoid bias in their dealings with New Yorkers of various ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Community-based Focused Deterrence Initiatives: The Department participated in a wide variety of locally based anti–violence projects throughout the City, including Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) and the Brownsville Violence Prevention Program Operation, Conversation: Cops and Kids designed to improve communication between police and youth, and West Side Story Project, which brought recovering substance abusing youth in a positive encounters with police officers.