As he prepares to turn in his badge for what he says is the last time, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton is rebutting a critical study of his signature policy.
In June, the NYPD Inspector General released a report saying there was no apparent correlation between increases in certain low-level enforcement activities and reductions in violent crime — a direct shot at the Broken Windows-style of policing Bratton pioneered and spread nationwide.
At a press conference Wednesday, flanked by five other top NYPD officials, Bratton trashed the report.
“It is not an expert study," Bratton said. "It is deeply flawed. It is of no value at all.”
He said the methodology was flawed and based on incomplete data.
“I’m not sure of the quality of the researchers at the OIG," he said. "The city spends a lot of money on staffing that. I think we have made it quite clear if you want to delve into these types of areas, you’re going to need experts not amateurs.”
The Broken Windows theory is based on the idea that enforcement of low-level offenses can prevent more serious crime. But the IG's report says changes in quality-of-life summons and misdemeanor arrest activity had no clear impact on the felony crime rate in an area. The IG also found policing of such low level offenses disproportionately impacts communities of color.
At the press conference, the NYPD released a lengthy rebuttal, including critical comments from two noted criminologists.
In response, the Department of Investigation, which oversees the IG, released a statement saying it stands by its findings.
“That Report produced objective statistical evidence that certain specific NYPD strategies do not have a measurable link to a reduction in violent crime," the statement said. "The NYPD, in its response, provides no similar data or analysis to refute this finding. This is no small point: The tactics at issue -- summonses for several quality of life offenses -- have been a source of complaint and tension in many of New York's communities and thus require careful review of the type we provided to avoid overuse.”
Here's the original IG report.
And here's the NYPD rebuttal.
And if you want to read the OIG rebuttal to the rebuttal, click here.