New York, NY – New York City has an interactive crime map, that tracks certain felonies across all five boroughs. Currently, the map plots any burglary, felony assault, grand larceny, grand larceny of motor vehicles, murder, rape, and robbery, but fails to plot minor police activity relating to non-criminal violations, summonses, tickets, or any accompanying arrests. This gap in the data makes it difficult for communities and advocates to track where over-policing is occurring.
"If we're going to meaningfully engage in reforming the NYPD, we will need the information tools to study what's happening inside our neighborhoods," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "It's one thing to hear anecdotal information from residents about unusual police activities in their neighborhoods, versus being able to say last week there were 6 summonses and three arrests for x violation at this intersection, which could be indicative of over policing."
The NYPD launched their COMPSTAT 2.0 website complete with map data for felonies in 2016. The website allows you to map the week's crimes down to the nearest intersection; you can also see crimes charted by the day, and see how the week's crimes compare to historical averages. Reporting in 2016 showed that there was a correlation between officers who worked during the compstat era and increased pressure from superiors over increasing the number of arrests, especially in the felony categories. Some argue that since the release of the Crime Map’s data, many of the over policing has shifted to minor crimes and violations.
The purpose of this legislation is to collect the data and be able to objectively see if this is the case, especially in black and brown neighborhoods. Further, the legislation may help stop over enforcement of certain violations, that are used by police as a pretext for additional scrutiny such as having an open container, which although decriminalized by the Manhattan District Attorney’s in 2016, is still a pretext for police to issue a summons or arrest an individual. If passed, this bill would take effect immediately.
By Council Member Kallos:
A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to adding violations to the interactive crime map.
Be it enacted by the Council as follows:
Section 1. Subdivision r of section 1072 of the New York city charter is amended to read
r. to provide to the public, at no charge on the city's website, an interactive crime and
violation map that [, for each segment of a street bounded by one or more intersections and/or a
terminus,] shall visually display, and provide in a machine readable format, the aggregate
monthly, yearly and year-to-date totals for the current and the most recent prior calendar years
for every non-criminal summons, violation, or ticket given out by a city governmental entity, as
well as each class of crime that is reported to the New York city police department, or for which
an arrest was made, including crimes that occurred in parks and subway stations. Such map shall
display the location of each summons, violation, ticket, crime, and arrest with as much
specificity as possible, including latitude and longitude if possible, but in all cases at least as
specific as the nearest intersection, as well as date and time information. Such map shall be
searchable by address, zip code, and patrol precinct. All information required by this subdivision
shall be available on the city's website as soon as [practicable] possible but in no case more than
one month after a summons, violation, or ticket has been issued, arrest has been made, or crime
complaint has been filed. The mayor shall ensure that all agencies provide the department with
such assistance and information as the department requires to compile and update the interactive
crime and violation map.
§2. This local law takes effect immediately.