The New York Police Department’s Operation Impact – a key initiative that could be shelved if the city fails to recruit enough cops – drove down crime in New York even as violence spiked in other major cities, says a new study reported by the New York Daily News. “It is an extraordinarily cost-effective crimefighting tool,” declared New York University Prof. Dennis Smith, who, along with SUNY Albany Prof. Robert Purtell, reviewed the effort. The study tried to determine how New York City continued to cut crime even as police ranks fell by 5,000 since 2000.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly assigned two-thirds of each graduating Police Academy class to high-crime areas, flooding cops into trouble spots. The impact zones generally covered just a few blocks and they changed as crime patterns shifted. As overall crime in the city continued to fall, crime in precincts with impact zones declined 24 to 100 percent faster than in precincts without the zones, the study found. Kelly has warned that Operation Impact could be shelved if the Police Department fails to recruit enough cops. There are enough rookies to keep Operation Impact going through January.