Bronx community leaders applauded the New York Police Department for vowing to combat the violent crews that have been shooting up the city's streets, reports the New York Daily News. The department will double the size of its Gang Division from 150 to 300 detectives and pursue the small, loose-knit gangs on social media websites such as Facebook, where their petty turf rivalries often break out, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Neighborhood leaders also called for a holistic approach to the problem, including more extracurricular programs and more beat cops to deter street crime. “From a police perspective, this makes sense,” said Rev. Francis Skelly of Immaculate Conception Church. “There are turf wars going on here. But the broader issue is these kids are doing this because they have time on their hands. We need to come up with more things for them to do – otherwise we’ll just be arresting more kids.” “Operation Crew Cut” also ill involve police department lawyers coordinating investigations with borough prosecutors, and certain precincts will assign up to a dozen cops to deal with turf wars. “Crews are responsible for no less than 30 percent of shootings in New York City,” said Kelly. There are more than 300 crews citywide and about 60 in the Bronx.