NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton will unveil more details of his new plan Wednesday on how to cut crime in the Big Apple, including how he’ll use almost 1,300 extra cops that have been secured in the city’s budget.
After months of insisting the NYPD did not need more manpower, the city announced a plan to hire the additional cops to supplement the police force of 35,000 uniformed officers.
Another 400 civilian posts currently filled by officers will also be filled by new hires, allowing those officers to take enforcement jobs in the streets.
“It is the first hiring of new police officers in many years in the city,” Bratton said.
Later Wednesday, Bratton is expected to explain more about exactly what these officers will be doing.
Bratton provided the first in-depth look Tuesday at a new policing strategy that will put more beat cops in neighborhood precincts to improve the relationship between officers and the communities they serve.
Officers committed to certain neighborhoods will be exempt from chasing 911 calls part of their time to meet with principals, past victims and others in order to develop rapport and gain community trust. The so-called Renaissance cops will be part detective, community affairs officer and intelligence investigator.
“In our most vulnerable communities, the people are often victimized by their own by their neighbors,” Bratton said.
The new strategy is the latest in a string of initiatives Bratton has announced since taking charge of the nation’s largest police force 18 months ago.
After the chokehold death of Eric Garner on Staten Island last summer, he vowed to retrain the entire force to teach officers how to de-escalate confrontations.
But critics of the plan to grow the NYPD are already making their voices heard.
Tuesday night, opponents protested outside City Hall. Group members say the crime rate is low enough and there’s no need to pump more money into the police department and hire more cops.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he came around to supporting the extra manpower after Bratton’s heartfelt need to improve police-community relations.
“There were some meetings with the commissioner in the last few weeks where we went from a broader discussion of his vision to a much more detailed one that became very, very compelling to me,” he said.
In brief remarks Tuesday, de Blasio said the new policing strategy, combined with reducing stops and busts for low-level marijuana possession, would allow investigators to focus on more serious crime and build better relationships.
“This is the shape of things to come,” he said.
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