NYC’s Violence-Plagued Bronx Gets New Attention from Cops

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Street scene in The Bronx, one of New York's most violent boroughs. Photo by iii_y via Flickr

The New York Police Department is sending 75 new investigators to The Bronx to address a steep and longstanding shortage of detectives in the city’s most violent and underserved borough, the New York Times reports. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told city lawmakers that the influx was aimed at easing enormous caseloads, which retired police leaders say have hindered investigative work in The Bronx for decades. Homicides in New York City have been falling, but the department’s plans for The Bronx reflect a growing recognition by police chiefs in cities experiencing upticks in murder that heavy caseloads let crimes go unsolved and feed a cycle of street violence.

The plan for the infusion of resources comes five weeks after the Times published an analysis of confidential deployment data showing that detectives in The Bronx last year carried more than twice as many violent felony cases on average as detectives in Manhattan or on Staten Island, and over 50 percent more than those in Brooklyn or Queens. The new deployment is a significant investment in front-line investigative work for parts of The Bronx that have not seen the same improvements in overall crime rates in recent decades as have wealthier parts of the city, especially at a time when detective resources are increasingly pulled toward counterterrorism operations. “We saw that some of the detective squads up there are more than just a little bit challenged,” Boyce said of The Bronx. “They’re flooded with more cases than they were last year.”

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