Bratton defends detective allocation
Police commissioner William Bratton said Thursday he is "comfortable" with the NYPD's allocation of staff, after a Daily News report found fewer detectives work outer-borough homicides than in Manhattan.
Bratton made his comments as Public Advocate Tish James announced plans to investigate NYPD staffing levels at a press conference with City Councilman Jumaane Williams, who denounced what he said was a shortage of homicide detectives at the 67th police precinct in East Flatbush.
“When we look at these numbers,” said Williams pointing to a poster showing homicide stats, “I get 2.3 murders per detective. You look at something like Manhattan South, they're getting upwards of 15 and change. There is a problem here. I'm sure this does not reflect what we need in this city.”
The News' story highlighted the city's record low murder rates in 2013, but found homicides in the outer boroughs are less aggressively investigated because the department puts more manpower into Manhattan.
The two precincts with the most unsolved killings are 67th precinct—where 10 out of 12 murders remain unsolved—and the 77th precinct in Crown Heights with nine out of 13 unsolved homicides, according to the News' investigation. “Manhattan South Homicide has ten detectives to assist precincts in murder investigations despite only ten murders in its jurisdiction in 2013,” said James. “Brooklyn North Homicide has 17 detectives, despite a whopping 86 homicides in its jurisdiction."
After swearing-in ceremony for new department recruits, Bratton said, "I am comfortable at this time, preliminarily, that the assignment of resources based on our current staffing is appropriate to the changing conditions. As you know crime goes up and down; incidents go up and down.”
The commissioner said he would take a deeper look at staffing "as part of the overall development and engineering of a plan of action."
Told of Bratton's comments, Williams said in a statement, "In a meeting with a high-level NYPD official today, I came away with the feeling like the department has heard our communities' concerns. Only nine days into the administration, I look forward to further discussions after the department begins to engage in a review of this reported disparity."
A James spokesman declined comment.