Theory and reality
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | APRIL 1 - APRIL 7, 2022 14
Mayor-elect Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell outside of Queensbridge Houses. Photo by Dean Moses
Mayor Eric Adams has made an exemption allowing
unvaccinated athletes and performers to
perform in New York City.
Meanwhile those in the NYPD and FDNY,
as well as Department of Education teachers, have been
fired for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.
In my opinion, this is a double standard and the mayor
is being a hypocrite.
It seems as if only the rich and the famous are getting
exemptions to being vaccinated as a condition of their
Our police force and firefighters protect us from
harm and our teachers educate our children and are extremely
essential to our well-being.
This just is not right!
I’m 72 years old and my wife is 68 and we had all of
our COVID-19 shots, plus our flu shots. Yet, in January,
we came down with a mild form of the virus. If we had
not gotten vaccinated we could have ended up in the hospital!
This disease is still out there and we all need to be
vaccinated. Nobody should be exempt!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
The “broken windows” theory, in essence, prescribes
that minor problems in a community, left unaddressed,
beget more serious problems down the line — including
More than a quarter-century ago, during the Giuliani administration
and Bill Bratton’s first tenure at City Hall, the NYPD
fully embraced the broken windows theory in efforts to turn
around crime across New York. It worked, as crime fell to record
lows within a few years — but a heavy price was paid, as years
later the NYPD would be hit hard for its “stop-and-frisk” and other
techniques found to violate the inalienable rights of New Yorkers.
So criminal justice advocates bristled last week when the
NYPD announced a new effort to tackle crime and enhance “quality
of-life enforcement” that seemed to echo much of the now-derided
broken windows theory.
Uniformed officers, the NYPD indicated in its announcement,
would conduct “proactive engagement with offenders who commit
violations that lead up to an act of violence.” Among those
violations are things which community residents often complain
about to their local police: “the open-air selling of narcotics, including
marijuana; public drinking; public urination; dice games
that lead to disputes and shootings; and the dangers of unlicensed,
unregistered or uninsured drivers.”
The new policy comes on the heels of the NYPD sending
“Neighborhood Safety Teams” into precincts with heavy gun violence
— a move that, critics charged, amounted to the revival of
the former Anti-Crime Units that, all too often, engaged in police
shootings, brutality and stop-and-frisk. But Police Commissioner
Keechant Sewell said these new approaches do not mean the
NYPD was retreating back toward failed public policies.
“To be clear,” said Sewell, “this is NOT a return to Stop, Question
and Frisk – nor is it ‘policing for numbers.’ This enforcement
will be responsive to community complaints and concerns, and
will address the violent crime patterns officers and detectives are
With the new policies inviting criticism and renewed concern,
it is essential that the NYPD prove to every New Yorker that it can
fulfill its mission of protecting and serving the public without
crossing the line. Sewell and the NYPD brass must uphold a zerotolerance
policy when it comes to civil rights violations, and publicly
expose those officers who breach the public trust. Anything
less would only reopen the still-healing wounds that decades of
bad policy and police overreach have inflicted upon the Big Apple.
Because as essential as it is to protect the rights of every New
Yorker, it is also essential that the NYPD does its job of making every
neighborhood livable, free of crimes large and small.
“Broken windows” is merely a theory. Our reality is our city
must be made safer — and police and community members must
work together to make it so.
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