Police Commissioner William Bratton is to deliver what the NYPD is billing as an in-depth study of Broken Windows and Quality of Life enforcement Thursday, as pressure mounts from the City Council speaker to soften punishments in the policing tactic.
Bratton is to speak at the Police Academy on College Point Boulevard in Queens.
CBS2 in recent days has reported change is coming to how some quality of life laws are enforced and adjudicated.
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“Sources said some minor offenses will no longer be treated as criminal matters under a deal being worked out by city officials,” CBS reported online and in a television report Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Turnstile jumping and public urination are still expected to be treated as crimes warranting an arrest, but a host of minor offenses such as drinking in public are expected to be treated administratively rather than criminally.”
The changes, if true, represent a victory for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, whose push for change has been resisted by Bratton.
“Under no circumstances will I, as police commissioner, support anything that weakens the ability of my officers to police and keep this city safe,” Bratton said when the speaker went public with her push.
“You still have to pay a penalty,” Mark-Viverito said of the affected laws. “You still have to pay a fine.”
“But people will not end up in jail if they cannot make bail when arrested for the low-level offenses, and it turns out that most people nabbed for the crimes indeed cannot make bail,” CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
That, CBS said, has been clogging the courts.
Bratton recently penned an OpEd in City Journal headlined, “Why We Need Broken Windows Policing.
“This practice, widely referred to as Broken Windows or quality-of-life or order-maintenance policing, asserts that, in communities contending with high levels of disruption, maintaining order not only improves the quality of life for residents; it also reduces opportunities for more serious crime,” he wrote .
“Our experience suggests that, whatever the critics might say, the majority of New Yorkers, including minorities, approve of such police order-maintenance activities. After all, most of these activities come in response to residents’ demands, which are made to patrolling officers directly, to precinct operators by telephone, to precinct commanders at community meetings, and via the 311 and 911 call centers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, citizens almost invariably are more concerned about disorderly behavior than about major crimes, which they experience far less frequently.”