While he predicts that the number of cops on the streets of New York is going to increase this year, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says that the number of stop-and-frisks are going to decline.
Bratton told the New York Daily News that the NYPD will have one million fewer interactions with the public “based primarily on dramatic drops in stop-and-frisks, summonses and marijuana busts.” The drop in activity has not led to a spike in crime; in fact, the city currently faces a 10% drop in crime.
Going forward, officers are going to be encouraged to stop people based on “reasonable suspicion”:
“This is what the community is talking about: Don’t think of every black kid walking down the street as a potential criminal,” Bratton said.
“I’m not going to push cops to make stops,” Bratton continued. “They need reasonable suspicion. If they don’t see it happening, I’m not going to push them.”
The massive reduction by year’s end would come through cutting stop-and-frisk encounters by about 650,000, low-level pot busts by 40,000 and a similar huge drop in summonses for violations like public drinking, bicycling on the sidewalk and jaywalking.
Bratton hopes that the move will improve relations with communities of color, who are disproportionately targeted by stop-and-frisk. “The black population of the city, which has been the most dramatic beneficiary of reduced crime and violence, is the least satisfied community in the city (with the NYPD),” he said. “Why? Because of all that unnecessary enforcement activity. So we’re going in a different direction.”
(Photo: Dave Hosford)