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NYPD to beef up Times Square force in response to hucksters

With City Hall deciding what to do about topless painted ladies and costumed characters in Times Square, the NYPD Wednesday said it would hasten the deployment of more cops there in its new neighborhood policing initiative.

"Times Square is an important piece of real estate in New York City and we have to pay attention to what goes on there," Chief of Department James O'Neill said.

The current force of about 50 Operation Impact officers would grow to 100 by October, O'Neill added. The initiative represents an acceleration of plans to add Times Square to the new neighborhood policing program used in a handful of other precincts.

The strategy is based on the idea that cops who are familiar with the areas they patrol can do a better job and build rapport with the public. Police will be assigned to the so called "bow tie" area, which runs from Times Square at 42nd Street to 49th Street up Broadway. "We are looking to get the same people, on the same post for the same time period everyday," O'Neill said.

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