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NYPD rebuts critical report on ‘broken windows,’ calls it ‘useless’

A NYPD vehicle is seen in this undated

A NYPD vehicle is seen in this undated photo. Credit: Diana Colapietro

The NYPD on Wednesday issued a rebuttal of a report by the agency’s watchdog undermining the cornerstone of New York City policing for the past 20 years: “broken windows,” the aggressive targeting of minor misbehavior to avert major crime.

Issuing a report titled “Broken Windows Is Not Broken,” the NYPD questioned the methodology and “unsupported conclusions” of Insp. General Philip K. Eure, who found in June that the enforcement of quality-of-life violations like public urination and disorderly conduct isn’t correlated with a drop in felonies.

In June, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton called the report “useless,” “not needed” and “deeply flawed.”

Bratton, who is leaving his post next week for a job in the private sector, said his decades-long experience beginning in Boston refutes the inspector general’s findings.

“Going back as far as 1978, in the streets of the Fenway, I have seen community complaints about quality of life conditions dominate conversations between the community and the police,” he said in a statement.

The NYPD, which is required by law to reply to the inspector general’s reports, said Wednesday quality-of-life enforcement in minority communities reflects the complaints the NYPD receives and condemned the report, adding it “perpetuates misunderstandings about a police strategy that is critical to the well-being of New York City and has played a central role in creating the safest big city in America.”

In its own rebuttal to the NYPD’s rebuttal, the inspector general said “that report produced objective statistical evidence that certain specific NYPD strategies do not have a measurable link to a reduction in violent crime. The NYPD, in its response, provides no similar data or analysis to refute this finding.”


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