2005-07-27 / Editorials

The NYPD: The World’s Leader In Fighting Crime

By Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

New York has the best police department in the world. That’s not an idle boast; it’s a fact, borne out by the NYPD’s historic achievements in continuing to drive crime down and make ours the safest big city in the nation.

A big reason for that success is that the men and women of the NYPD are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re always looking for better ways to protect the rest of us. That includes being a world leader in applying information technology to fighting crime. Take CompStat, the Police Department weekly, precinct-by-precinct computerized analysis of crime trends throughout the city. It’s easy to see why over the years CompStat has been studied and imitated by police departments around the world. CompStat has, for example, been fundamental to our administration’s Operation Impact, which identifies pockets of high crime in our city, and floods those zones with officers. Operation Impact is a big reason why we’ve reduced crime by nearly 20 percent during the last four years, and why we’re on course to our fourth straight year with fewer than 600 murders.

This Monday, the NYPD launched another breakthrough in crime-fighting technology. It’s called the Real Time Crime Center and is the first of its kind anywhere. It will be the department’s new nerve center, staffed around the clock by officers who can quickly access information about crime scenes, crime patterns and potential suspects and immediately send that information by FAX, e-mail or telephone to detectives as they respond to an incident. Within minutes, investigators will also be able to tap into sources ranging from every 911 call the police receive to a database of tattoos and nicknames of people with criminal records. That kind of comprehensive and instantaneous information will make it easier and faster for the Police Department to solve crimes, make arrests and reduce crime even further.

Technology isn’t the only thing that’s changing in the New York City Police Department. We saw that two weeks ago, when the latest class from the Police Academy hit the streets. It was the most diverse graduating class in the department’s history. That’s only going to be true for about six months, however—the academy’s next class is even more diverse. After all, New York is the world’s second home. Our history has been written in wave after wave of migration and immigration. It’s only natural that those same currents of change run through the ranks of the Police Department. And as the department comes to resemble the makeup of the city, trust and cooperation between the police and the community will grow even stronger and we’ll all be even safer.

At their graduation, Commissioner Ray Kelly and I promised those new officers that our administration will always give them the best tools, training and leadership we can. The Real Time Crime Center is one way we’re making good on that promise. And for their part, the impressive way that our police officers have risen to the challenge of providing extra security on our streets and subways in recent days shows that whether they trace their origins to Colombia or China, Pakistan or Palermo, they all love our country and this city, and they’ll do everything it takes to keep us safe and free.

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