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by Peter Moskos

August 9, 2018

Every four or five years...

Just a brief note to commemorate the semi-decennial NYPD drug sweep at the Queensbridge Houses.
I keep track of these things. (I live nearby.) 9 raids. 22 arrests. 4 handguns.

Last time this happened was 2013. And that was preceded by similar raids in 2009 and 2005. Sometimes police get disparaged for conducting wack-a-mole policing. (In fact, sometimes *I've* disparaged police for this reason.) But one of the reasons crime is so low in NYC is because police do wack those criminal moles (and have the resources to do so) when criminals pop their heads up. Illegal public drug-dealing, so linked to violence, is exactly what police need to focus on. And the residents of America's largest public housing complex can be a little less afraid.

There will be another similar raid in Queensbridge in 2023. Mark my words. But maybe that is exactly what is needed. Or maybe a little more continued presence now, rather than a few years, really could prevent the next crew from popping up.