Mayor Vincent Gray
NSZ in Trinidad neighborhood from chief Cathy Lanier.perspective date:
[ 3/18/2012 ]
Neighborhood Safety Zones
9 hours, 7 killed, all in the same neighborhood, and less than a month later same neighborhood 11 wounded and 2 dead. This dramatic disregard for life within this neighborhood needs a dramatic response. Police were already stepping up patrols and enforcement within this area, yet, could not do anything to prevent these attacks or capture the culprits. Traditional police methods have been found lacking in this case, which is why a new method is needed. The neighborhood safety zones for this neighborhood are just such a method. Most criminals gain their transportation by motor vehicle, which allows for quick transport. This is why the culprits of these crimes were able to get away even though police officers were close enough in some cases to hear the shots being fired. The NSZ targets vehicles entering and exiting the Trinidad neighborhood in several key places. This program increases the visibility of police, acts as a determent for criminals to be in the neighborhood, make arrest of criminals found during checkpoints, and most importantly, gather intelligence on who is who in the neighborhood. Now it may be asked is such a program legal constitutionally, the answer in this case is yes. Maxwell v. City of New York (2nd Circuit), was a case in 1992 that was in response to four drive-by shootings. The New York City Police implemented temporary vehicular checkpoints in an eight square block where most of the shootings had taken place. Officers stopped vehicles only in order to ascertain the driver’s connection to the neighborhood. The court balanced the gravity of the public concerns served by the checkpoint and the effectiveness of the checkpoint in addressing such concerns. The legality of the NSZ is very important because individual’s civil rights are at stake and the NSZ...
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