Ten high-crime NYPD precincts that received a surge of cops as part of Summer All Out have witnessed a steady drop in shootings in the past three weeks, a trend also seen citywide, according to the latest police statistics.
The drop in shootings over the first three weeks of the program, in which desk cops have been made to walk the beat, has amounted to a decrease of almost 38 percent in the 10 precincts. The decline was even more stark in those precincts for the week ending July 5, when shootings plunged by 61 percent compared with the same week in 2014.
The NYPD and City Hall got jittery earlier this year when shootings steadily increased, rising as much as 10 percent over the same period last year. As a result, Commissioner William Bratton and Chief of Department James O'Neill accelerated by a month the beginning of the Summer All Out program.photosRecent NYC mug shotsSee alsoMajor NYC crime
Overall, after three weeks of Summer All Out, shootings in the city are now up by only 3.7 percent over 2014, according to NYPD data.
NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis was unavailable for comment Monday about the latest shooting trends or police strategy.
Eugene O'Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former police officer, said that with crime so low in the city, any uptick in shootings gets a full-court press from Bratton and his commanders.
"If you are a precinct commander and there is a shooting, it is a very big deal," O'Donnell said. "They are counting it as very, very seriously."
The result has been the 10 precincts and some public housing areas getting more cops, who hit the streets after three days of refresher training.
Former NYPD detective Joseph Giacalone stressed the push is not just from Summer All Out, but also from overtime deployment of cops from other units.
"As long as the City Council doesn't object to spending on overtime, they will drive shootings down," said Giacalone, who now works as a policing consultant.
Drilling down to the precincts, individual results are mixed. So far in the three full weeks of Summer All Out, half the precincts have seen drops in shootings compared with the same period in 2014, three have seen no change, while two actually had increases, police data showed.
O'Donnell cautions about reading too much into the sudden decline in shootings this summer because criminals are often street smart and may be avoiding cops.
"I still believe the temperature on the street is known by the bad guys, when there is a [police] step up or pull back," O'Donnell said. "I think they know."