NYPD and Quality of Life Policing: Construction of Controversy

James F. Ledbetter, Jr., Florida State University

Quality of life policing, in its current form and as it has come to be known in New York City, has been a policy initiative of the New York City Police Department since 1994 (although its antecedents were present in various forms before). This type of policing focuses resources on the enforcement of minor criminal offenses in an effort to decrease violent crime. Quality of life policing fuses the proactive elements of community policing (the productive relationship between the police and the community) and broken windows theory (if less serious crimes are allowed to continue, more serious crimes will begin to appear, causing a breakdown in the community and increased crime rates) with the reactive response of aggressive police tactics and procedures. This policy will be analyzed, searching for its formative roots, as well as its crime control and societal effects. Quality of life policing has salience as both an issue of justice and public policy both now and well into the 21st century.

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Updated 05/20/2006