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Thursday, December 27, 2007

‘Impact’ Expanded, But Do Results Last?

The New York Times reports that Operation Impact, an NYPD initiative that floods high-crime areas with rookie officers, has been renewed and expanded. In addition to several neighborhoods in Brooklyn, communities in all three precincts served by the West Bronx News Network — the 44th, 46th and 52nd precincts — are all getting Impact deployments.

The piece is a lengthy 1,530 words but doesn’t ask or even allude to the most obvious questions, namely:

-Do neighborhoods where Impact has resulted in lower crime rates maintain those lower rates after the contingent of Impact officers moves on?

-Is there a correlation between Impact and the overall decrease in city crime rates? Yes, crime rates — particularly homicide rates — are at a historic low. And yes, of course crime in neighborhoods with Impact deployments see a drastic reduction. That doesn’t necessarily mean the two are related.

There are no perspectives from neighborhoods that have already had Impact. Are they better off since Impact left, worse off, the same?

The 52nd Precinct is well acquainted with Impact, particularly in the community just above Fordham Road east of the Grand Concourse. This community has also been the site of a Model Block program several years ago, and several other police initiatives that differed in tactics but were similarly short-lived.

Citywide crime statistics, and even precinct-wide stats, are not very useful in judging whether the effects of Impact last in the sectors of a precinct where it operated. Analyzing sector-level crime statistics before, during and after Impact would be useful.

We’ll see if we can fill in some of these gaps in an upcoming issue of the Norwood News.


  1. Precinct wide compstats are published on the precinct website. The 52's stats are at


    A better question to ask is if Impact is really being doubled. It's not. The NYPD used to put about 1,200 people from each academy class into Impact, now they have to hold the last class an extra six months to even approach the numbers of the old impact classes. And if the old impact group isn't going into the precincts, what does that do for the manpower levels of the precincts?

  2. Link didn't work. Go to

    and click on crime statistics

  3. As a resident for 30 years of the 52nd Pct. neighborhood just North of Fordham Road and East of the Grand Concourse, I wonder what kind of impact IMPACT has had when it will be back for a sixth time. It's obvious that this area has some fundamental crime issues that are still unresolved. In addition to IMPACT, here is a list of other efforts the NYPD has used in our neighborhood: BAND, MODEL BLOCK,TRACER, SNEU, RAZOR, MID BRONX INITIATIVE, COMMUNITY POLICING, SENIOR CITIZEN SAFETY CORRIDORS, MARCH, CONDOR. Fr. Jenik - Our Lady of Refuge Church

  4. I don't what kind of impact they're having on crime, but they're playing hell with people who live in the neighborhood. I've seen some pretty ugly, pointless stop-and-frisks, complete with racist language from cops to teens. And last month a cop who'd been blocking the street for 10 minutes with his car (he'd stopped to grill someone sitting at the edge of the park) ticketed my girlfriend for "disorderly conduct" when she told him he should let people by. When she took time off work to go to court, she learned he'd never submitted the ticket -- just harassment. Etc.

    Maybe it's the impact of "Impact", but the cops of the 52nd seem to think they're marshals in the Wild West. Their cavalier bullying feels far more dangerous to me than any other activity on my street.


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