New York Daily News

Updated: August 13, 2015, 8:37 AM

  

 

NYPD chief Bill Bratton touts fewer shootings, less overall summertime crime

BY THOMAS TRACY

ALEC TABAK/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton looked at the broader numbers across the city and suggested the department had turned a corner in its battle against summer violence.

Despite pockets of the city, from East New York to the South Bronx, still beset with seemingly nightly violence, the summer stands poised to end with an overall decrease in crime, the city’s top cop said Wednesday.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton looked at the broader numbers across the city and suggested the department had turned a corner in its battle against summer violence.

“Shootings are down by about nine,” Bratton said in a radio interview, adding, “we are doing pretty well from my perspective.”

Bratton acknowledged that detectives were investigating 13 more homicides this year than at this point in 2014. He said his stats were updated as of Wednesday morning.

In the top cop’s 12-minute interview with John Catsimatidis on AM-970 he predicted hat 2015 could be “a record year for us in terms of overall crime reduction.”

“I think we are in a good place,” he said. “We are aware of the issues and a lot of coordinated efforts to address those issues.”

The NYPD launched its Summer All Out Initiative in June — a month earlier than last year — and deployed more officers in high-crime areas of the city following a shooting spike in the spring.

As of Sunday, the most recent date for which NYPD statistics were available, 201 murders had taken place in the city, up 17 from the year before. And though Bratton reported shootings were down, there were 695 shooting incidents as of Sunday, an increase of two from the same time period in 2014.

Overall crime remained down by about 5%, stats show.

Yet not all neighborhoods share Bratton’s rosy outlook: East New York, Brooklyn — which is part of the Summer All Out Program — remains one of the most violent communities in the city, with a 21% jump in shootings and a 55% increase in homicides.

Along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx — near Yankee Stadium — shootings are up 20% and murders have doubled, from five to 10, officials said.

Bratton’s comments also come as the city’s largest police union blamed a massive reduction in gun seizures to the drop in stop and frisks under Bratton's leadership.

A July report by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the NYPD and other city agencies seized 3,552 firearms in 2014 — a giant drop from the 7,062 seized in 2006 when the agency first began keeping records on seizures.

“No one should be surprised that fewer guns are being taken off the street while the number of shootings increases,” Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said.

Yet Bratton doesn’t see the connection. “It’s not an opinion I share,” he said. "We have not seen a direct correlation. More stop, question and frisks doesn’t necessarily mean more gun seizures.”