Mayor, commissioner roll out new community policing strategy

Friday, June 26, 2015
Community policing program rolls out in New York City
A.J. Ross reports from Washington Heights.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The NYPD has laid out details of its new neighborhood policing strategy, with hundreds more beat cops in neighborhood precincts, in neighborhoods where violence continues to dominate.

These 1,300 new officers aren't just extra bodies, they're the start of a new proactive approach to policing that involves you as a team player!

The pilot program rolled out in the 34th Precinct a little over a month ago and already crime statistics are going down. It's a trend local leaders hope will now continue city wide.

It's a bold new strategic plan local leaders believe will give a much needed edge to the NYPD in the ongoing fight against crime.

1,300 additional officers are not only targeting problem areas but building real relationships with everyday people to forge a united front.

In Washington Heights where the new plan has already been executed, officers at a community meeting Thursday night encouraged neighbors to get more involved.

"We are now doing a bottom up approach where an officer knows the community, the community knows the officer, we stop the problem many cases before it even happens," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Called "One City Safe and Fair Everywhere" Mayor De Blasio along with Commissioner Bratton laid out the details of the new policing framework, which also entails additional training so officers can better engage and activate the communities they serve.

"I'm very, very happy with this new program or process they have with bringing additional officers, cops, because Washington Heights really needs extra help," a resident said.

Washington Heights was one of the first four precincts to test this new policing strategy over the past month. According to NYPD statistics crime in the seven major categories across the area dropped 18.9% with 911 response times improving by nearly two minutes.

"I would definitely support additional cops no matter what it is," a resident said.

"It's just like with medicine everything needs to be preventative for it to be affective," another resident said.

While it will certainly take time to see if these numbers not only hold in Washington Heights but citywide, people seem optimistic.

"It's neighborhood policing, it's preventative policing, and it means that more and more people in the city will be encouraged to connect with police officers," a resident said.

"I'm very optimistic that once again, 20 years from now, we'll look back at this as a watershed event for this department and the city," said Bratton.