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Letters: Don't handcuff NYPD crime-fighting

New York City police officers demonstrate the stop-and-frisk

New York City police officers demonstrate the stop-and-frisk tactic at a training facility at Rodman's Neck. (June 12, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

A statistic that I haven't seen but would like to is the percentage by ethnicity and area of people who are for or against the New York Police Department's use of stop, question and frisk ["Stop-frisk appeal," News, Aug. 16].

My experience after a 20-year career with the NYPD working in high-crime areas is that there is a silent majority of people who welcome a strong police presence. There are some who would have us believe that the NYPD has no focus on stopping and questioning other than harassing innocent ethnic people. Stop, question and frisk is a crime-fighting tactic used by the NYPD to identify perpetrators of crimes. Innocent people have been stopped because of descriptions, proximity to crime scenes and other factors. So have bad guys.

Until the bad guys start wearing signs identifying them as such, the police have no way of determining who they are. In the interest of public safety, don't handcuff the police. Let them do what they have been doing: reducing crime.

Christopher Monzert, Lynbrook

I have 16 years of experience working as an officer in the New York City criminal court system, both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We could debate for days the socioeconomic reasons behind higher crime rates in economically depressed areas of the city, where stop, question and frisk is a common occurrence. But truth be told, and for whatever the reasons may be, it is mainly young men of color who are carrying guns illegally and shooting innocent people in the city.

On a recent Sunday, there were 17 people shot, all in high-crime neighborhoods where stop, question and frisk could be a tool to prevent such senseless acts.

Joseph Bua, Long Beach