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by Peter Moskos

February 17, 2016

Al Baker is one smart, journalist

I always like Al Baker's stories. He seems to get it. And I don't think he's Greek. But I do think his father was a cop. Maybe that matters. Or maybe he's just smart and works hard. Anyway, I'm happy to see him writing about police issues again. I trust that when I read his stories, I'm going to learn something.

On stop and frisk in the NYPD. As to the picture... why is that cop car on the sidewalk? It's just a Broken Window pet peeve of mine.
Since Mayor de Blasio took office in New York, the number of recorded street stops has continued to decline, to about 24,000 last year from 45,787 in 2014.... Those tallies represent a small fraction of the stop-and-frisk activity logged during the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a political independent, when recorded stops reached a height of 685,000 in 2011, and fell to about 192,000 in 2013, which was Mr. Bloomberg’s last year in office.
To ask cops to fill out a lengthy form and have another officer, the sergeant, review the form? It's too much to ask. Not when stops are discretionary. (There's also something rude about asking all this information from a person who just wants to go about his business, but nobody ever raises that point.) But if the goal is to end stops and all discretionary policing, well, this is one step to that goal.

All that said, keep in mind murders are down 38 percent this year! That stat doesn't mean much in mid-February, of course. But were shootings up, I'm sure you'd be hearing from the usual suspects saying the sky is falling... and it's Obama's fault... and don't black lives matter?

Anyway, I still have to read the whole report. Summaries and thoughts from those who have are more than welcome.

[Kind of sort of related, how much does the "independent monitor," Arnold & Porter LLP, get for writing this report? And does anybody know if anybody knows if consent decrees have any impact on crime? Something seems awfully fishy -- not about this report in particular, I have great respect for Anthony Braga -- but for the whole advice and consult and decree concept in general. Is there a ready list of police departments that have been under consent decrees and for which years?]

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