Tag Archives: NYPD

High School Student Highlights NYC’s Crime Data Cover-Up; Adds to Previous Bronx Reporting

11 Nov

In the Daily News last Friday, high school student Josh Waldman’s letter to the editor tops the page with the headline: “Let us see all the crime numbers.”

Waldman reports how the Police Department keeps all but the current week’s crime statistics a secret. He points out, when the NYPD posts the current precinct-wide weekly data known as CompStat, it removes all prior stats off the site!

Congrats Josh for highlighting this critical issue that virtually no press is paying close attention to, save the Norwood News and City Limits, where I wrote this article almost two years ago.

It focused on the fact that it’s critical to know how current precinct stats compare to past precinct data and, even more importantly, to know where in those precincts specific criminal activity is growing or consistently problematic. That’s called sector stats, more material that the NYPD won’t release. Precincts are the same size as the community districts they are in and many, serving 100,000 residents, are bigger than most American cities. That’s why sector stats are so critical. They keep track of the same crime data — assaults, car thefts, robberies, burglary and murder — as CompStat data. But sector stats provide the data virtually neighborhood by neighborhood.

In the City Limits article, I reported on Bronx councilman Fernando Cabrera’s bill that resulted in law. He was inspired by Norwood News coverage by me and Alex Kratz on the fact that the NYPD refuses to make sector data available. Norwood News did eventually acquire the info through FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) requests but that took more than a year. All media, community boards, community groups, and interested individuals should submit similar FOIL requests to pressure NYPD and city government in general to make the information regularly available.

Cabrera achieved some, but not all, of the change he sought, particularly the provision of sector stats. In maps where you can click on circles indicating some data, the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) website does show generally what block crimes have been committed on but only on a monthly basis. And the site doesn’t indicate sector or neighborhood crime totals. So forget about complete, clear neighborhood sector data. DoITT has kept that hidden as well.

When it became law, Greg Faulkner, Cabrera’s chief of staff, said his office had a similar concern about the map. “It doesn’t have enough details and our vision of it was there was going to be a lot more,” said Greg Faulkner, Cabrera’s chief of staff, in the City Limits article. “We need to hear whether there were specific security concerns about why they were left out.” He added back then that the website was not shared with Council members before it was fully implemented. Had it been, Faulkner says, the city “would have been able to determine whether their implementation matched the Council’s intent.”

It clearly hasn’t.

One more thing:

Waldman, the high school student, even created a NYC Shootings website that holds on to crime stat data that the NYPD removes. (It looks great but it’s not functioning at the moment. Josh, let me know when it’s up an running again.) If students at every high school in the city were keeping an eye on what was going on around them, and acting on it like Waldman, it would have an impact on city policy.

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5.22.14 — Bronx News that Matters

22 May

Former Council member Oliver Koppell, a veteran Riverdale-based politician who occupied several other key political positions, may have an uphill climb to defeat incumbent Jeffrey Klein, a Democrat who has formed a separate committee to partner closely with Republicans. Some key former Koppell allies are backing Klein, but
Koppell is gathering support and enthusiastically taking it on. City Limits files a detailed report.

Former assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson is headed behind bars for three years for taking bribes from a company wanting legislation to temporarily ban additional adult day care centers. In February, I reported in City Limits that Governor Cuomo was publicly struggling with a decision of whether to have the election to refill District 79 soon or wait until the regular primary on Sept. 9. The latter date won out and there won’t be an assemblyman in that district for another six months following the general election. The same is true for District 77, an office former-assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson left when she became a member of the City Council.

The city celebrated its Shop Healthy Program in the Bronx. Through advertising, the project highlights healthier foods which the Department of Health says works by drawing more customers to food that’s better for them.

Congressman Charles Rangel, who now represents part of the northwest Bronx, leads challenger Adriano Espaillat, now a state senator, 41 to 32 percent in a poll conducted by the New York Times, NY1, and Siena College. (Data chart included.)

And according to the Daily News, Rangel and another candidate in his district have a lotta dough. And Espaillat? Not so much.

The ninth murder this year in the northeast Bronx’s 47th Precinct took place on East 229th Street yesterday. That’s eight more murders than there were last year at this time. The New York Times covered this problem May 18 as well.

(To find out more about crime in your precinct or neighborhood, click here and here for city data from NYPD and DoITT. Tell Bronx Matters if you think this data is helpful or how it can be more helpful.)

Speaking of food, a historic pizza joint, Patsy’s Pizzeria, is opening a Morris Park location next month, the Daily News reports. According to the story, the 81-year-old Patsy’s is considered to be the first pizzeria that sold pizza by the slice.

The Ghetto Film School, based in Mott Haven, is partnering with 20th Century Fox to open a partner school in Los Angeles, the Daily News reports.

If you’d like to get e-mail updates on Bronx Matters blog posts, see bottom of page at left. Thanks! -Jordan

 

NYPD Still Hiding Neighborhood Crime Data

23 May

The previous post on that New York World stop-and-frisk map got me thinking once again about how critical it is for the NYPD to release crime data for neighborhoods rather than just precincts, which is what the weekly CompStat reports cover. Precincts have populations as large as many cities (for example there are about 150,000 people in the 52nd Precinct). The NYPD understands very well that precinct stats alone are not that not helpful in determining where particular categories of crime listed in the CompStat reports are the most prevalent. That’s why they generate more targeted data, called sector stats, for at least a dozen areas within every precinct in the city.

The NYPD rarely makes this data available. At the Norwood News, where I was editor until last September, we once got it from the 52nd Precinct commander, but NYPD brass prevented him and future commanders from sharing it again. So the last time we got it we waited more than a year for the agency to fulfill our Freedom of Information Law request and they complied only after an NBC-TV report (video) highlighted our editorial campaign to get them to release the data.

The data is critical simply because people have the right to know whether they are safe in their own neighborhoods. Precinct-wide data is not helpful in that regard. Crime may be down precinct-wide but it could be up significantly in a sector (which may be one reason the NYPD is locking down the info). New Yorkers should be able to easily find out where crime is going down and where it’s going up.

And they should have easy access to data that indicates what crimes are on the upswing. Lots of car thefts in the area? A spike in rapes? An uptick in assaults? Knowing this info would help residents ensure their own safety and also be on the lookout for crimes in progress. How can more eyes and ears on the streets not be useful to the NYPD?

Last year, motivated by the Norwood News’ reporting, Council Member Fernando Cabrera introduced legislation that would require the NYPD to release the sector stat data on a regular basis. It’s still in committee and we have a call into Cabrera’s office to find out more about its status. We’ll let you know where it’s at soon. In the meantime, take a look at the bill:

It’s not complicated. The NYPD collects this data on the taxpayer dime, yet keeps it hidden from public view. The legislation above would fix that. We hope to see action on it soon.

—Jordan Moss

Morning Matters 3/30/12

30 Mar

OK, we’re back with Morning Matters. Sorry to miss the last couple of days.

This photo by Ana Brigida is part of her exhibit on public housing conditions, opening tonight, at the Bronx Documentary Center in Melrose.

The Bronx Documentary Center, also in Melrose, has an opening tonight for an important exhibit called, “How the Other Half (Still) Lives: Bloomberg’s Legacy?” by Ana Brigida about conditions in public housing.

Speaking of Melrose, Legal Services is developing a building on a vacant lot near the subway station in the neighborhood’s southern end on Brook Avenue and East 149th Street.

Have you read the incredibly intelligent conversation taking place on Gregory Lobo Jost’s post on the Times declaring gentrification taking root in south Bronx? I’ve been meaning to mention that this isn’t the first time the Times has weighed in on south Bronx gentrification. This piece by the same reporter, Joseph Berger, focused on the artists and professionals heading to the Clocktower and other buildings in Mott Haven. The appearance of arugula in supermarkets and cafes is also a harbinger of a new scene in that piece. Hey, does arugula mean Kingsbridge is gentrifying? The revamped Foodtown on Broadway and 231st has it as well as a section of specialty beers. Speaking of food and drink, the recent Berger article quotes a resident who found a fantastic Mexican restaurant in the neighborhood, Xochimilco. But that restaurant, which I happened to be at a few days before that article appeared, is in the heart of Melrose, a whole other neighborhood (which has its own incredible story of rebound that I plan to talk more about here) at least a mile and a half away from the Concourse and 160s. (Incidentally, I had the best chicken mole I think I ever had in my lifethere.)

Though teen violence is way up at Riker’s Island, the Bronx DA’s office rarely prosecutes, according to an article in The New York World. The DA’s office says it’s hard to prosecute when victims don’t cooperate but critics say that wouldn’t be case in the world outside of prison.

A popular middle school teacher, Justin Bravo, was killed while riding on his motorcyle in the tunnel on Mosholu Parkway underneath Jerome Avenue and the 4-train. This tragic accident was virtually steps away from where a pedestrian died in December. Norwood News posted the funeral arrangements.

Hunts Point Express documents local efforts to battle the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, including murals to educate youth on their rights at Rocking the Boat.

Teacher Ratings Public, but Not for Cops and Firefighters

28 Feb

This article in City Limits is a year old, but it couldn’t be more relevant now that the NYC public school teacher ratings have been made public. The performance records of cops, correction officers and firefighters cannot be released to the public thanks to the section of a state law that emanates from a 1970s trial in Broome County. The state’s Committee on Open Government (a state agency created by the Freedom of Information Law) has recommended that this law be changed, City Limits reports.