New York Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced a series of internal changes yesterday that he said would help steer the Police Department over the next four years of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s second term, the New York Times reports. Some uniformed commanders will get new supervisory responsibilities. The management of officers who patrol the city’s subway system and housing developments will be changed. The way that certain kinds of offenses, including gun crimes, are investigated will be streamlined. “We wanted to make some corrections in the organizational structure, looking at the overarching threat of terrorism as one factor, and bringing our structure into line with the present-day threat situation, both as far as crime and as far as terrorism is concerned,” Kelly said.
Perhaps most significantly, the police Transit Bureau, whose officers work in the subway system, will report directly to the chief of department, rather than to the chief of transportation. To better investigate cases involving gun arrests, a database will be developed to bring together information on guns and on the criminals who use them, and two firearms units will be merged into one “gun suppression squad.” Kelly plans to place officers in the most crime-plagued housing projects, possibly turning some apartments in those complexes into police offices. At the city’s request, analysts from a consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, have been looking since November at the police department’s structure and interviewing people in its leadership.