In “Police Strategy No. 3: Driving Drug Dealers Out of New York,” Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Commissioner William Bratton address the destructive effects of widespread drug sale and use, particularly crack cocaine and heroin, on the quality of life in New York City. At the same time, the article explicitly dismisses the “economic, sociological, and biological causes” which often underpin these infractions, instead dwelling on ‘the facts’ represented by drug-related crime statistics and the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) revised strategies to mitigate these offenses.
In past attempts to establish a definitive connection between aggressive enforcement of drug-related infractions and a decline in more serious crime figures, results proved inconsistent. In 1984, the department concluded that with such a strategy, the NYPD could, in fact, reduce robberies and burglaries while noting that gentrifying neighborhoods saw the largest benefit. However, subsequent attempts in 1988 and 1989 to substantiate this perceived effectiveness indicated that these results were difficult to maintain. Accordingly, community involvement would be required.
Broadly, the NYPD attempts to amend these prior strategies by reducing the size of patrol territories, actively encouraging community members to support the department by helping to police their communities, and bolstering efforts to close facilities in which these infractions are committed.