Howard Safir, the grim-faced police commissioner under former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani whose exceptional crime-cutting record was stained by a series of police misconduct scandals, is resuming his role as loyal team player,helping the police chief of Annapolis, Md., attack crime, the Baltimore Sun reports. Chosen by Mayor Ellen Moyer to advise interim Police Chief Michael Pristoop, Safir is a longtime Annapolis resident with more than three decades of law enforcement experience.
Annapolis is a city of 36,000 fighting to tame a climbing homicide rate that has surpassed Baltimore’s so far this year. Safir, 66, says, “I’m not the police chief. I’m a citizen of Annapolis who has an interest. The mayor has selected someone who is going to be an outstanding police chief for Annapolis. As I told him, I will do as much or as little as he wants. ‘ Pristoop, a former Baltimore police commander, and Safir, a strong advocate of using DNA to reduce crime backlogs, have discussed policing strategies and technological tools that mirror a new state-funded crime-fighting initiative. Among plans being formed are installing closed-circuit surveillance cameras in high-crime areas and instituting more precise crime tracking methods. Though New York City crime fell sharply while Safir was commissioner, his four-year tenure was marked by controversies including the shooting death of an unarmed black man who was killed by police in a hail of 41 bullets and the sodomizing of another man by officers in a police precinct.