PROP Strongly Opposes 1,000 New Cops
Statement from Robert Gangi, PROP Director
As demonstrated by PROP’s ongoing court monitoring project, the NYPD assigns far too many of its current officers to wasteful & racially biased “broken windows” duty. Rather than expending valuable resources to add 1,000 cops to the police force, the city’s leaders would far better serve the interests of public safety & justice by redeploying officers from heedlessly applying “broken windows” theory to fighting real crime.
The findings of our court monitoring project document not only the harm & injustice of the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach, but also how inefficient & frivolous the practice actually is. In most of the court cases that PROP has observed, the accused, almost always a man or woman of color, was charged with a minor infraction like: begging, sleeping on a subway or park bench, walking between subway cars, jaywalking, or having an open alcohol container. Most people walked out of the courtroom with the charge dismissed or a minor sanction applied — the court had clearly decided that the person was not a risk to the community.
This kind of policing effectively criminalizes activities that are victimless & that most people perceive as innocent or innocuous. It disproportionately charges one group of people as offenders & breeds cynicism & resistance. It diverts the city’s resources & funds from successfully countering the serious problem of violent felonies where & when they occur: homicide, rape, assault, & armed robbery. Our city does not 1,000 more cops. It needs smarter & fairer policing.
Director, Police Reform Organizing Project
307 West 36th Street, 12th floor
NYC, NY 10018