The number of police officers assigned to precincts has fallen to dangerously low levels with a loss equaling the manpower of nearly 12 full precincts, creating “hotspots” of rising crime throughout the city, PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said today.
“The reduction in the number of police officers in our precincts since 1995 is the statistical equivalent of closing approximately12 precinct houses around the city at a time when terrorism, crime-fighting and quality-of-life concerns are straining police resources,” Lynch said. “The department recently announced an expensive overtime program called ‘Operation Impact’ to deal with dangerous areas created by a lack of police resources.
“Precinct staffing is at the lowest levels since 1990 – a year of record high crime -- and we are concerned that the department cannot maintain safe streets, fight terrorism and handle major events with the smaller force. If the city hopes to maintain safety and order during the Republican National Convention and attract other events like the Olympics in the future, then the first thing it must do to demonstrate that it is serious about safety and bring the police department back to appropriate strength levels. Safe streets make New York an inviting place for its residents, tourism and business. Safe streets allow the city to be economically strong,” Lynch said.
In 1995, the NYPD had 15,210 police officers assigned to neighborhood precincts averaging 200 police officers at each of the 76 precincts. In 2002, 12,855 were assigned to precincts, 2,355 fewer police officers representing a 15.5% decline since 1995. It represents the lowest police staffing level since 1990 when there were 11,145 police officers assigned to local precincts. Despite this dramatic decline in staffing, the city’s budget calls for further reductions in police headcount.
The numbers cited include all police officers assigned to local precincts including administrative officers, those who are on long term sick or injured or on modified, non-patrol status and police officers temporarily detached to other units so the numbers of officers available for patrol is actually lower.
Among the hardest hit precincts in each borough since 1995 were:
The impact by borough is:
Attached are breakdowns of the numbers of police officers assigned to each precinct on June 30, 1995 and June 30, 2002 with the numerical change and the statistical change for the entire city. A statistical breakdown by borough is also included.