John Walters, President Bush’s drug czar, would like to use the New York Police Department’s successful statistics-based police strategies to drive down drug crime. Walters, visiting New York City, told the New York Sun of the city’s CompStat proram: “I’m looking at ways we can take this management technique and bring it to the federal, state, and international levels.”
Walters’s visit came at a time of increased enforcement against drug trafficking and drug crime in the city. Between January 1 and May 1, there were 25,000 arrests in New York City for narcotics crimes, a 16.8 percent increase versus the same period in 2006, Compstat reports show. Although the city has been mostly immune to crystal methamphetamine use – a problem that has ravaged some cities in California and the Midwest – there have been signs of production in New York. To avoid the risks of smuggling drugs into the city, some dealers have been growing marijuana in buildings with sophisticated irrigation, lighting, and fertilizer systems. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has closed down two such plants in the city in the past month and a half.