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New NYPD ‘zone’ strategy spurs sharp drop in murders, shootings

The new strategy identified 69 violence-prone “zones” and added a heavy police presence during summer months


The zone strategy is a modified version of the NYPD’s “summer all out” plan where cops were sent to high crime precincts in the summer months.

Jeff Bachner/New York Daily News

By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News

NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD saw a sharp drop in murders and shootings over the summer months compared to last year, thanks in part to a new strategy where cops identified 69 violence-prone “zones” and flooded them with cops.

“We’re not talking about hundreds, we’re talking about thousands of extra officers on foot in those 69 zones between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 4 a.m.,” Chief Michael Lipetri of the NYPD Crime Control Strategies said at a press conference at police headquarters in Lower Manhattan.

The additional officers began flooding into the zones beginning on May 4. By the end of September, the NYPD saw a 33% drop in shootings and 1,000 fewer crime victims compared to the same four months in 2022, Lipetri said.

The zone strategy is a modified version of the NYPD’s “summer all out” plan where cops were sent to high crime precincts in the summer months.

This time around, cops drilled down the zones to just a few blocks where gang and drug-related violence have repeatedly occurred.

Most of these troubled locations were in the Bronx and northern Brooklyn and in total encompassed only nine of the city’s 300 square miles, police said.

“Unfortunately those nine square miles made up about 29% of all the shooting incidents in 2022,” Lipetri said.

The zones also encompassed major shopping corridors like Steinway St. and Flushing Ave. in Queens, Church Ave. in Brooklyn and Fordham Road in the Bronx.

As a result of the added enforcement, commercial robberies in those areas dropped, Lipetri said.

Cops flooding those zones wrote 7,500 criminal court summonses, mostly for drinking in public, and seized 1,100 firearms — about 11 a day, Lipetri said.

During the summer months, shootings in the city dropped by 25% from last summer, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said.

Cops investigated 192 shootings in July and August compared to 268 last summer. The NYPD probed 61 homicides, 15 fewer than the summer before.

“These public safety gains are the direct result of the relentless, intelligence-driven work of your NYPD officers – and that work will continue every day, in every neighborhood,” Caban said. “We will never stop fighting to make New York City better tomorrow than it is today.”

As of Oct. 1,the city has seen a 10% drop in homicides this year, with 304 victims this year compared to 341 by this time last year. Shootings had dropped by 26% this year, from 1,043 to 766.

The only crime categories to show an increase were in assaults and car thefts. Car thefts have jumped by 19% this year from 10,085 to 12,006, driven mostly by the theft of Kias and Hyundais as part of a viral Tik-Tok challenge that showed how easy it can be to steal these autos.

Cops saw a 5% jump in assaults, from 19,959 this time last year to 21,133 so far in 2023 thanks to an uptick in domestic violence and assaults on police officers, Lipetri said.

Despite the drops in crime, there were a number of high-profile homicides in recent weeks, including an incident in Washington Heights where a man, woman and her dog were shot dead by an unhinged neighbor.

In July, there was a bloody 9½-hour span beginning 11 p.m. July 4 that included two homicides.

On Aug. 13, a panhandler viciously stabbed an elderly man who declined to give him money outside Manhattan’s Herald Square subway station, leaving the victim seriously wounded, cops said. The panhandler, David Trotman, was arrested and charged with the attack.


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