Tags: Howard Safir | new york city police department | crime

Ex-NYPD Top Cop Safir: '90s Crime Rates Returning, But Lynch Can Fix It

Image: Ex-NYPD Top Cop Safir: '90s Crime Rates Returning, But Lynch Can Fix It
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By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 01:27 PM

Former commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Howard Safir, said that we're seeing a return of 1990s crime rates.

"In Baltimore last month, there were 43 homicides and dozens of shootings. Homicides in New York City and Chicago are up about 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively, compared to last year," Safir wrote in an opinion piece for Time magazine.

"After 20 years of successful policing that had reduced crime to record lows, are we in danger of seeing a return to what we experienced in the 1990s, when there were high murder rates, and our streets seemed to be owned by criminals?" he asked.

"Unfortunately, I believe it's possible," Safir wrote.

The former NYPD commissioner partially faults the "War on Police" by the Justice Department under former Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, which he says has caused "a demoralization of police officers throughout the country."

That being said, Safir says that Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch "has an opportunity to fix this."

He explains that police officers who "engage in brutality" make up a very small percentage of the total number of police officers who "do their jobs effectively and at great risk."

As there is more talk about reforming policing practices, "officers who in the past would aggressively pursue criminals might begin to back off as they see their jobs and their family's economic security at risk," Safir explains.

As a result, "criminals might become aware that the probability of arrest is lessened, and they may no longer fear police," he contends.

This is what he believes we are already starting to see play out today.

Monitoring that has already been implemented around the country by federal courts and the Justice Department, such as the monitors who have overseen police officers in Oakland, Calif. and Detroit, does not work in it's current form, Safir writes.

He claims that the way the current "monitorships" are set up seems "to provide the monitor a disincentive to help reform the police. As long as monitors say the departments are not in compliance, they continue to collect fees."

According to Safir, "It's essential that this system be changed to include goals and milestones not only for the police, but also for the monitors. We must have metrics in place to ensure that the monitors are as, or more, motivated than the police departments to accomplish reform."

"I urge our new attorney general to consider such a change," he adds.

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Former commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Howard Safir, said that we're seeing a return of 1990s crime rates.
Howard Safir, new york city police department, crime
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2015-27-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 01:27 PM
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