Home > Publications > The NYPD Success Story: Crime Reduction and Narcotics Enforcement

The NYPD Success Story: Crime Reduction and Narcotics Enforcement

James F. Albrecht

After many years of failing to take control of violence and serious crime in New York City,
the New York City Police Department in 1990 implemented a comprehensive version of
community policing and increased the agency manpower by almost 30% (between 1991 and
2001). The initial version of the community policing concept relied on the neighborhood
foot patrol officer acting as the primary problem solver who was to seek a long term solution
to crime trends. Since many of the patrol officers were newly hired with little experience,
their ability to design long term solutions to serious crime problems was not very effective.
However, the mere presence of thousands of uniformed police officers in every
neighborhood in New York City, and even more deployed to high crime police stations,
stabilized the crime rate. In 1994, NYPD Police Commissioner William Bratton radically
revised law enforcement efforts and many new initiatives were commenced. As a result of
these strategies, violent and serious crime has declined more than 80 % since 1993. New
York City is now the safest large city in the United States of America. This remarkable crime
reduction continues through 2011, even given the overwhelming counter-terrorism
responsibilities implemented since September 2001. Other factors that contributed to this
impressive accomplishment will be outlined in detail.

Keywords: Community Policing, Broken Windows, Zero Tolerance, Compstat