Assertive Policing, Plummeting Crime:

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The business strategy of the NYPD was to reduce crime in New York City by innovating a new system for measuring performance and craft a new model for policing. Based on the "cultural diagnostic" survey conducted in 1994, the perception of officers was that the NYPD strategy was very bottom line and financially focused. Patrol officer's goals however, were to "reduce crime, disorder and fear," which was in perfect alignment to Bratton's goal. The NYPD Police department had the same aim, but Bratton had to convince the entire department that he had the same overall ambitions as them.

Bratton's goal was to reduce crime by 40% in three years by focusing on quality of life crimes. He wanted to be able to manage crime, rather than just respond to it. The four elements of Bratton's strategy was accurate and timely intelligence, rapid deployment, effective tactics, and relentless follow-up and assessment. Bratton achieved his objectives by focusing officer morale, neighborhood involvement, accountability, and treating every quality-of-life arrest as an opportunity to make a bigger arrest.

The main tool that Bratton used was a system called Compstat, which tracked crimes by neighborhood and highlighted areas of focus. Before Braton became the NYPD commissioner crime statistics were only compiled on a quarterly basis, which had little use for reducing crime. Bratton insisted that crime figures would be compiled weekly and pin-maps would be kept up to date.

The biggest reason for the success of Compstat was that it evolved from something somewhat primitive to very extensive. The system began with pin-up maps being brought to meetings on acetate overlays to an upgrade of computerized maps that were projected on three eight-by-eight foot computer monitors.

It was important that Bratton did not being the system too abruptly because the commanders needed to buy into the system before they devoted too much time into it. The effectiveness of the information that...
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