New York City crime ranks as one of the highest in the nation; ranking right up there in the neighborhood of major urban areas such as Chicago and Los Angeles. Attempts to quell serious crimes in the city such as gang violence, murder, rape, and drug dealing are an ongoing for the city. There are areas of the city that are now controlled by criminal elements, so much so that ordinary citizens are living in prisons of fear, afraid to speak out against the crimes that go on in their communities.
Despite efforts to deal with major crime in New York City, there does not appear to be, at this time, a feasible method to dissuade lawlessness, not even by an increase in police presence on the streets and in the communities in the areas most affected by crime. In 2014 there was a surge in violent crimes, including shootings and murders during a time when the New York City Police Department flooded the streets with an increase in the number of police officers on duty.
Mayor Bill De Blasio, and local government officials believed that they could turn the tide on violent crime by adding more police officer to the most notorious areas of the city. With that goal in mind, the city instituted a program called the “Summer All Out.”
“Summer All Out,” Success or Failure?
Summer All Out was an initiative created to combat crime on the streets of New York City and its boroughs. The initiative was commenced for a 90-day period, and was to transfer 314 police officers to ten different precincts and five housing compounds for the purpose of combating crime in those areas. The program met with some resistance from veteran police officers who were being recruited to participate in this program, especially those officers who had worked desk jobs for the last several years and were unfamiliar with the intensity and the types of criminality that was presently taking over certain areas of the city. Many of those seasoned officers chose retirement over going out into these areas and facing the increasingly dangerous street of New York City.
Surge in Crime During New York’s “Summer All Out”
During the 90-day Summer All Out Program, there was actually an increase in crime in those targeted areas. Part of the problem may have been the fact that the city’s anti-crime initiative was relying on the older, longtime veterans who had not experience firsthand the types of criminal actions presently going on in the city. Part of it may have been as a result of the fact that the city officials underestimated the level at which the areas had been embedded with hardened criminals who had a stranglehold on these communities. This initiative became more of a lesson in how not to combat crime than anything else. At the same time, the city was paying out massive overtime to officers who agreed to accept the challenge and retirement benefits to those officers that decided to retire instead.
There are two aspects of the city’s attempts to combat crime in this manner. One aspect is the attempt to rid the city of criminal elements; another unintended aspect may be the encouragement of over zealousness in the arrests and convictions of persons accused of crimes, but who may be, in fact, innocent. In such an effort, those people who may be accused of a crime must be aware of their rights in that regard.
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