Major crime in New York City dipped 5.6% last month compared to February 2022 — and people already feel safer partly because they see more friendly cops who tell them, “Good morning,” the NYPD’s top cop said Friday.
“We started an initiative where officers are more engaging with the public, to just say, ‘Good morning,’ if you see someone to just let them know that we’re there,” Commissioner Keechant Sewell told a small group of invited reporters Friday afternoon.
Sewell credits the friendly cop initiative — at least partly — with helping “the overall feeling in the city… that it’s getting better.”
The NYPD reported a 5.6% dip in major crime last month compared to February 2022 — driven by a double-digit percentage decrease in robbery, burglary and grand larceny.
Last month saw 1,155 robberies and 1,040 burglaries down from 1,290 and 1,224 over the same time last year, respectively, according to NYPD data.
Shootings were also down nearly 15%, to 64 from 75.
There were also nearly 300 fewer grand larcenies with 3,539 reported last month compared to 3,815 a year ago. That month there were only 45 shootings as well.
February also recorded 10 fewer murders.
The total tally of 8,785, though, still remains up more than 15% from February 2020 — the last full month before the pandemic descended on NYC.
But Sewell said she believed the department was on the right track.
“I think there’s a marked difference from where we were this time last,” the top cop said.
“I was mentioning to someone earlier today that when you go around the city now you see so many more people out and about so many people in the restaurants, so many people walking the streets. It definitely feels different. They tell us it feels different.”
She also noted that subway crime was down a bit more, 169 v. 186 or a 9% decrease — although people may have been having a hard time finding a subway police station to report the crime.
Sewell told reporters she even walked right past one underground Transit District headquarters one day because she didn’t recognize it with a “super utilitarian” bike rack outside.
“So we ordered these covers for the bike racks that actually announce that this is a police station so people can see it’s a little more user-friendly,” she said.
Sewell said in a tweet Friday afternoon that an uptick in officers throughout the city’s subway system, signage and train conductors announcing the presence of cops is “ensuring commuters know their NYPD officers are there for them.”
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