Rafael Mangual and Hannah Meyers offer recommendations for a comprehensive public safety improvement plan
NEW YORK, NY — In 2020, New York City saw the biggest one-year spikes in shootings and homicides—97% and 45%, respectively —in more than a half-century; and 2021 is off to a discouraging start, as shootings across the city were up almost 42% through March 7. With crime rising while the number of cops decreases, crime control will likely be one of the biggest challenges the next mayor will face. The willingness of current residents to continue paying a premium to live within the city limits will depend largely on the degree to which they feel safe. In a new Manhattan Institute (MI) report—the last installment of MI’s A Policy Playbook for New York’s Next Mayor series—senior fellow Rafael A. Mangual, and director of MI's policing and public safety initiative, Hannah E. Meyers, offer four recommendations the next mayor should consider incorporating into a comprehensive public safety improvement plan.
Their recommendations include:
Reinforcing the ranks of the New York Police Department (NYPD) with a focus on attracting highly educated, motivated recruits.
Recommitting to a conception of community policing that addresses public disorder and other quality-of-life issues.
Working diligently to address the misconceptions feeding legal cynicism—particularly in minority communities.
Revamping the city’s approach to serious mental illness with an emphasis on more (and better) supervision.
“Community policing, properly understood,” the late George L. Kelling said, “reflects a department’s reorientation around public concerns.” A recent MI survey shows that one in five New York voters are currently concerned about public safety more than anything else. More importantly, 68% of the respondents “somewhat” or “strongly” supported “using a community policing model, where police actively collaborate with a particular community and focus on disorder as well as on serious crime.” The next mayor should listen to the people by adopting successful approaches for working with the public—whether it be among minority communities or the seriously mental ill—so our city’s streets and subways can be secure once again.
About New York City: Reborn
New York City: Reborn is a Manhattan Institute project that encompasses research, journalism, and event programming. Through this initiative, the institute convenes business, civic, academic, and civil-society leaders from around the city with MI scholars to discuss issues key to the city’s recovery. Post-coronavirus, MI envisions a growing New York City with a thriving economy, healthy finances, accessible housing, effective infrastructure, flourishing education, safe streets, and increasing competitiveness. New York City: Reborn will help turn that vision into reality. Click here to learn more.