Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Friday, January 26, 2007

Is Giuliani A Conservative?

On fiscal policy and law enforcement he is. As mayor of New YYork City, he fought back an exploding crime rate and a balooning welfare state.

One would hope that he supports Bush's troop surge in Iraq, since he implemented a cop surge in New York City. But beating the bad guy is more about numbers - it's how those numbers are deployed:

Giuliani changed the primary mission of the police department to preventing crime from happening rather than merely responding to it once it had occurred. His police chief, William Bratton, reorganized the NYPD, emphasizing a street-crimes unit that moved around the city, flooding high-crime areas and getting guns off the street.

The Iraqi equivalent would be finding terrorist weapons caches and intercepting arms shipments from Iran and any other foreign suppliers.

Bratton also changed the department's scheduling. Crime was open for business 24 hours a day, but most detectives, including narcotics cops, had previously gone off duty at 5 pm, just as criminals were coming on duty. No more.

For some reason, and old George Carlin joke newscast pops into my head: "Off-duty police officer shot by on-duty criminal."

The department brought modern management techniques to its new mission. It began compiling a computerized database to track the city's crime patterns and the effectiveness of the NYPD's responses to them. That database, known as Compstat, helped police target their manpower where it was needed, and in due course it became a national model.

Translation: better intelligence.

The department drove authority down to its precinct captains and emphasized that it expected results from these top managers. Bratton replaced a third of the city's 76 precinct commanders within a few months. "If you were to manage a bank with 76 branches every day, you would get a profit-and-loss statement from the bank," explained Giuliani. "After a week or so, you would see branches that were going in the wrong direction, and then you would take management action to try to reverse the trend. That is precisely what is happening in the police department."

Read the whole thing. Especially if you live in New Orleans - I suspect that there are parallels between the John Lindsey/David Dinkins law enforcement strategies (or lack thereof) and what your crime-ridden city has been subjected to all these years.


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