FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND POLICE COMMISSIONER RAYMOND W. KELLY RE-LAUNCH OPERATION IMPACT
New Anti-Graffiti Initiative to Protect Quality of Life Also Announced
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today re-launched Operation Impact. The initiative will reduce and prevent serious and violent crimes by deploying over 1,000 Police Officers to new Impact Zones Citywide. Last year Operation Impact led to a 26% drop in crime in Impact Zones and contributed to the reduction of overall crime in New York City to the lowest levels since the early 1960’s. The Mayor and Police Commissioner also announced a new anti-graffiti initiative that will focus on enforcement and education. The announcements were made at the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn which is being divided into three target areas, each run by a separate Police Captain.
“Targeting high-crime areas and a zero-tolerance policy for quality-of-life crimes has been crucial to the NYPD’s success in driving down crime in all five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “In 2004, Operation Impact significantly reduced crime in areas with persistent criminal activity, and we are expanding it to new areas. In addition, the new anti-graffiti initiative we launch today will send a message that we will not tolerate graffiti or other low-level offences or disorder in our neighborhoods.”
“The numbers speak for themselves.” said Commissioner Kelly. “This strategy enables us to flood trouble spots with new recruits and seasoned veterans and attain very real results. I want to thank all the officers who have made this such a success and to Mayor Bloomberg who has championed this initiative from the very beginning. It has worked for two years now and we want to make it better for the third.”
The NYPD reduced crime within Impact Zones by 26% in 2004 by tracking crimes, enforcement, and deployment on a daily basis, placing highly visible Field Command Posts throughout Impact Zones and conducting daily intelligence briefings to examine current crime trends and conditions. Operation Impact targeted gangs and narcotics, as well as identified and apprehending individuals with outstanding warrants for past crimes. In all, Operation Impact resulted in over 33,438 arrests and almost 360,308 summonses in Impact Zones Citywide in 2004. Operation Impact helped drive overall crime down 5% last year, 14% over the last three years and also contributed to reducing the number of murders to the lowest level since 1963. The key element of the success of Operation Impact is shifting to meet an area’s needs. When the situation in a zone improves, the Police Department shifts the zone’s boundaries or creates an entirely new zone in an area in need of attention.
Crime statistics for the Impact Zones in 2004 are as follows:
Operation Impact will now cover 20 Impact Zones; 18 zones are within 21 Precincts and 2 zones in 2 Housing Commands. The new sites were selected based on in-depth analyses of crime trends. Factors including what time of day and what days of week crimes usually occur are part of the selection process. The Impact Zones for 2005 will be in the following precincts: Midtown South, Midtown North, 19th, 23rd, 25th, 32nd, 40th, 44th, 46th, 52nd, 67th, 70th, 73rd, 77th, 83rd, 103rd,104th, 107th, 110th, 115th, 120th and PSA 7 in the 40th and PSA 2 in the 73rd (Housing).
The Police Department has also launched Operation Trident which will focus exclusively on the 75th Precinct. At 5.6 square miles, the 75th is one of the largest precincts in the City. The unique layout and crime patterns in this command led the Department to create three separate areas, each run by a Police Captain. These areas will experience a greater concentration of Police Officers and resources with the aim to reduce crime, cut down on response times and maximize assets. Even though major crime in the 75th precinct has dropped more than 12% over the past three years and murder is down 17%, it still leads the City in homicides, robberies and assaults.
The Mayor and Police Commissioner also announced a new anti-graffiti initiative that will focus on enforcement and education. The initiative will create a new command structure in the Police Department to address graffiti at the Patrol, Transportation and Housing Bureau levels as well as every Borough and local command level, and also establish a new Citywide Vandals Task Force. Assistant Chief Ed Young has been appointed Citywide Coordinator for the new initiative.
Police Department Assistant Chief Ed Young has been appointed Citywide Coordinator for the new Anti-Grafitti initiative. Chief Young will oversee and monitor the performance of Anti-Graffiti Coordinators at each Patrol, Transportation and Housing Bureau level, as well as every Borough and local command level. These coordinators will be responsible for working with other initiative partners in other agencies to focus resources for enforcement, cleanup and education.
Education is key component of the Anti-Graffiti Initiative. “Combating Graffiti,” a brochure created to highlight the Police Department’s plans in this arena, will be distributed throughout the City. Police Department Community Affairs officers have developed an anti-graffiti curriculum for use in community meetings. The same curriculum will be used by 160 Police Department Youth Officers in City schools and youth forums. There will also be an NYPD-sponsored $500 reward program funded by the Police Foundation for information for the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals.
The new Citywide Vandals Task Force consolidates the Special Operations Division’s Anti-Graffiti/Vandalism Unit and the Transit Bureau’s Vandal’s Unit. This consolidation will allow two previously separate units with similar responsibilities to share resources and experience. The Citywide Vandals Task Force is comprised of three Lieutenants, thirteen Sergeants and sixty Police Officers. The Task Force will also respond to 311 graffiti complaints which will be classified as “urgent” under this plan. The initiative also includes the establishment of a centralized graffiti database containing information about known graffiti vandals. The database will provide a blueprint for graffiti criminals and help identify patterns.
The new initiative builds on the success of a multi-agency graffiti clean-up task force launched in July of 2002 and coordinated by CAU that has removed almost 57 million square feet of graffiti from more than 6,000 sites across the City in 2003 and over 10,000 sites in 2004.
Neighborhoods the graffiti clean-up task force focused on in 2004 are:
Queens: Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Corona & Jamaica, Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Floral Park, Astoria, Forest Hills and Maspeth.
Brooklyn: Bushwick, Bay Ridge, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, East New York, Sunset Park and Flatbush.
Manhattan: Lower East Side, Central & East Harlem, Chinatown, Washington Heights, Harlem, Soho, Upper East and Westside and Inwood.
Bronx: West Farms, University Heights, Tremont, Bedford, Norwood, Pelham Parkway and Hunts Point.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)
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