[Hpn] ALERT: NYPD minor-crime crack-down ``reinvigorated'' by Mayor Giuliani FWD FWD

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Thu, 16 Nov 2000 04:08:26 -0800 (PST)

CIRCULATE this news please to nonviolent defenders of
Civil Liberties in New York City, USA:

Does "the Broken Windows approach to street policing" target homeless people?

FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Nov 14, 2000


Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Attention: Homeless people, graffiti vandals,
public drinkers and the generally noisy, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and
the NYPD want YOU.


On Tuesday, just in time for the holidays, Giuliani announced
that the police department will ``reinvigorate'' its enforcement of
so-called quality of life crimes _ meaning police officers will
arrest anyone caught engaging in half a dozen or so minor offenses
that have largely been overlooked of late.

``The core of the turnaround of New York City has to do with
public safety and quality of life,'' Giuliani said at a City Hall
news conference. ``And we have to keep reminding ourselves of that.
This is a work in progress; it's not something you ever complete.''

It is unclear why Giuliani chose Tuesday to announce what his
office billed as the ``Mayor's Quality of Life Initiative 2000'' _
which is essentially a policy that has been in place since the
start of his first term six years ago.

One clue, however, came when Giuliani said his own quality of
life rights had been trampled upon this week when he detected the
unmistakable odor of marijuana after giving a speech to a group of
federal law enforcement officials.

``I turned around and these guys took off,'' the mayor said of
the alleged offenders, whom he described as being rather portly.
``And my (security) detail couldn't catch 'em.''

Said Giuliani: ``You do not get to smoke marijuana in the city
of New York.''

Another reason may be the spike in complaints made this year to
the quality of life hotline, manned by the police department. From
Jan. 1 to Sept. 11 of this year _ the latest date statistics were
available _ 38,167 complaints were received by the hotline. Of that
number, 33,267 complaints, or 87 percent, were noise-related
matters. The second largest number of complaints, 1,229, were about
animals, followed by 592 complaints about graffiti.

During that same period in 1999, the hotline received 18,015
complaints _ 14,039, or 77 percent, were about noise. According to
police officials, one of the reasons for the increase is that in
February, quality of life complaints received by 911 operators were
rerouted to the hotline.

In the future, the mayor said that individual police commanders
will be held responsible for increases in the frequency of such
offenses, similar to the way they are now with violent crimes.

In recent years, Giuliani has ordered the police department to
issue citations for offenses such as jaywalking, beating subway
fares, sleeping in public, and _ perhaps most famously _ for
cracking down on ``squeegee men,'' who wash the car windows of
unsuspecting motorists when they stop at traffic signals.

The most recent quality of life initiative was launched last
Thanksgiving, when police officers began rousting _ and in some
cases arresting _ homeless people. That crackdown will continue,
Giuliani said Tuesday.

Norman Siegel, executive director of the New York Civil
Liberties Union, said that by continuing to arrest homeless people,
Giuliani is ``addressing complex social and economic issues in a
purely law enforcement way.''

``We will closely monitor it and if we find that police violated
people's civil rights, we will take appropriate action,'' said

As an indication of just how much New York has changed of late,
the police department said Tuesday that the No. 1 complaint on its
quality of life hotline is not drug dealing, or graffiti, or
prostitution, but noise.

In New York City? Go figure.

AP-ES-11-14-00 1732EST
Received  Id AP100319A9DBC4F3 on Nov 15 2000 14:52


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