"Safe? You Bet Your Life"

John Moody’s 1995 Time magazine article “Safe? You Bet Your Life” asserts that while new police policies under New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani seemingly contributed to improved crime figures, a more nuanced approach is likely needed to have a more profound and longer-term effect on crime levels.

John Moody’s article “Safe? You Bet Your Life” from the July 24, 1995 issue of Time probes possible catalysts for dramatically-improved crime figures in New York City from the preceding two years. The author explains that although many factors undoubtedly contributed to this shift, the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) streamlined administrative structure and other measures enacted under Mayor Giuliani and NYPD Commissioner Bratton (including the focus on petty crime) cannot be ignored as an influence. In spite of these perceived improvements, Moody asserts that affecting substantive change is more complicated than merely reallocating funding for education and social services to the police, especially in the wake of NYPD misconduct earlier in the year. The implication that such practices exacerbate the systemic issues that lead to crime echoes recent debates about defunding the police and alternative applications for these resources. The article concludes with quotes from two skeptical New York City residents who perceive Mayor Giuliani’s bold claims about crime as disjunctive with reality, describing the persistent and pervasive atmosphere of fear and how it penetrates even the private sphere.

Entry Author
Buell Center (aes2344)