How to Stop New York City Street Crime

Guradian Angels (courtesy phc.edu)

“Twenty years ago, I had the honor of observing one of the finest outfits the American police ever fielded in action: the NYPD citywide street-crime unit (SCU).” That’s Thomas A. Reppetto,   former commander of Chicago PD’s detectives and past president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, writing at nypost.com. “It was a relatively small group of 100 to 150 carefully selected officers with outstanding records, who prowled the city looking for those carrying guns. And it’s a model of how the city can deal with rising gun crime without flooding the streets with additional cops or restoring stop-and-frisk.” Reppetto’s looking for a repeat performance of the SCU. Uh, about that the SCU’s activities not constituting “stop-and-frisk” . . .

The unit made a virtual anthropological study of street criminals. They discovered that unlike many legal gun-carriers, they didn’t generally use holsters, but instead stuck the gun in their waistbands.

Because they constantly worried about the gun falling out, they’d walk in an unusual fashion. Thus the gun-hunters looked for the subtle signs of behavior that would have escaped the notice of a regular police officer (or civilians).

If they spotted a suspected gunman, they wouldn’t jump out of their cars with guns drawn. Instead, an undercover officer would quietly work his way up to the suspect and place his hand over the gun while other officers moved in, so nobody would get shot.

The unit mastered the technique of conducting felony car stops, a tactic that has cost many police officers their lives. They never operated in a catch-as-catch-can fashion, but used choreographed tactics where several cars surrounded and halted a vehicle and officers took up designated positions around it.

The difference between the SCU’s operations and stop-and-frisk: the “expert” cops could tell someone was carrying a gun from the way they walked and other “subtle signs of behavior.” Does that sound like probable cause to you? Even if it does, so what? There’s no direct evidence that the SCU’s efforts lowered “gun crime.” I have a better idea . . .

Re-legalize open carry in The Empire State. Train and arm the Guardian Angels (who still exist). Have them open carry in high crime neighborhoods. Sure there might be some blood in the streets. But I’m thinking it wouldn’t all be Guardian Angel blood. Probably not even mostly.

Hey, if a statist cop can dream of a world where Americans can be detained for walking funny, I can dream of a world where citizens take responsibility for law and order in their own neighborhoods.

comments

  1. avatar JWM says:

    Ain’t the scu Cirillo’s old outfit?

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      All animals are equal, pigs are more equal than others.

      1. avatar JWM says:

        Joe, it’s ok not to have the correct answer. Just remember, there will be a test later.

        1. avatar Joe R. says:

          Sorry, the test is almost over. If you’re looking for “the answer” jump to the essay on the back, while you mull that over, the answer may come to you, but it sounds like your interested in points tally, so use your time wisely.

      2. avatar John Seagus says:

        All animals are not equal. pigs are just animals.

        1. avatar WedelJ says:

          It was a reference to the book Animal Farm.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      No. Jim Cirillo’s outfit was called the “Stakeout Squad,” and they were disbanded in the early 70’s.

      Cirillo was in 17+ gunfights, and killed 11 criminals from ’68 to ’73, as I recall. He was a rather modest man about the whole situation.

      I took a course from Jim. Heck of a nice guy, and very obsessed with safety and putting rounds onto the target, and only the target. His ideas of gun combat were completely opposite of today’s “empty the magazine” training.

      The Stakeout Squad’s MO was to identify a pattern of robberies in a neighborhood, then dispatch members of the squad to that liquor store/grocery store/drug store/etc and lay in wait for the criminals. They didn’t go after criminals on the street – they knew where the criminals would be coming, and they prepared a hide and waited for them. Then they’d take down the criminals in the act.

      One of Jim’s favorite weapons for this work was a modified M1 Carbine.

      1. avatar JWM says:

        I read his book some years back and couldn’t remember his unit title. He’s one of the few I would trust to take advice from about a dgu. He’s been there and done that.

        Shame for him to have survived all that action just to die in a car wreck.

      2. avatar Commonsenseisnt says:

        Jim’s partner, Bill Allard (still alive), was more deadly than Jim.

  2. avatar Joseph says:

    Give everyone, better education, respect of themselves and others, and firearm training and firearms…

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Ya, just screw a new head on them.

      Why can’t we all just agree that we are each in danger from everyone else, and that not even cops (nor the Guardian Angels) can prevent you from needing to protect yourself. NY is too rich an example.

      It is WRONGFUL, not just wrong, for anyone to claim that they can protect you, as it is impossible. The only true ‘safety’ comes in the form of Armistice. “Returning then to the first exercise, conflict has been determined to be inevitable and permanent.
      Do you surrender?
      I would certainly hope not.
      Nor do I.
      In addition, in our conflict, I promise you not a second of rest that could be considered utopian “peace.” As such, I cannot also accept any of your assurances for anything of the same.
      Therefore, to avoid the outright violence of the first exercise, and I sincerely wish to (where we can),
      I propose an Armistice,
      a cessation of hostilities.
      I propose that we continue our conflict [we two] without great outward hostility and without the present employment of arms. We maintain the check and balance to our conflict by the measure of our action and inaction, for and against.
      The appraisal of the success of our efforts may hereby be measured.
      These are the Terms.” [TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012 Pg. 18]

  3. avatar Chrispy says:

    “Re-legalize open carry in The Empire State.”

    *sigh*

    It’s nice to dream.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      The real B.S. of it, is that the cops (and the mayors/state houses/ and governor) think they are the reason for the peace. They cannot protect you anymore than you are protected from someone due to the lack of their immediate desire (their piqued desire moment to moment) to do you harm. Cops are only there for clean-up and paperwork, and did you have the proper motivation to defend yourself? There in minutes when seconds count. There “on the wall” while the shiv fight goes on in the exercise yard.

      “Poop to that” – Marvin Boggs

  4. avatar Another Robert says:

    It doesn’t have to be “probable cause”, it only has to be “reasonable suspicion”, a significantly lower standard. “Walking a certain way” may actually be something, if the cops could articulate exactly what that “certain way” is so as to distinguish it from just “walking funny”. Which, BTW, I’m not necessarily convinced they could do.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      Well, the Brits do have a governing Ministry.

  5. avatar TommyG says:

    Once the gang bangers figure out what the cops are looking for they will stop doing it. They aren’t that stupid.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      I worked in a prison for a while. Yes, they really are that stupid.

      My understanding of their thought process is that a gun and holster, when properly worn, slows down their ditching the gun when needed. And they switch guns, a lot. Hard to keep proper holsters when it’s Glock monday, hi point tuesday and rossi wednesday, etc.

      1. avatar Anon in CT says:

        I’m told that when the gang members are on their own turf, they often don’t carry on their persons at all. Instead they use a bunch of different stash guns, located under stoops, in busted mailboxes, etc. That would significantly lower the odds of getting caugh illegal holding a firearm, but there’s still ready access.

        Call it off, off body carry.

    2. avatar Gary McClenny says:

      Yes, they are that stupid. They like being noticed.

  6. avatar David B says:

    RF, have you lived in NYC to be able to opine on what they should and should not do? Indiscriminate tooling up Washington Heights, Jamaica, Brooklyn, etc would not be in the best interest of law and order. Our country has changed since its founding. NYC isn’t paradise with just a few bad apples. It (unfortunately) needs a strong hand to maintain law and order. As previously implemented, I fully support stop and frisk and the tactics Guilianni used to get NYC back. In my opinion, it’s like Iraq under Saddam. It was not perfect, but there was order. Removing Saddam opened Pandora’s box to what we have today with American soldiers having died in vain. Deconstruct NYC and you’ll have Fallujah and Ramadi but on a much bloodier scale.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      DB, suspending the constitution isn’t the answer either. Freedom is messy. NYC and it’s people will figure the issues out or they will not. But, unless you declare NYC a prison suspending the constitution is just wrong.

      1. avatar David B says:

        Free elections with an occasional misprinted ballot is messy. The governor of your state being indicted for kickbacks and sweetheart land deals is messier. Debate over immigration is messy. Hundreds of murders each year in NYC is and should not be the price of freedom.

      2. avatar Joe R. says:

        NY was always, A L W A Y S, a sh_t-hole. It is the burnt stuff on the melting pot and all the crap that sloshed on the stove. The reason NY (NYC) has the crime problems it does, is because it imports it. It invites, through aggressive welfare the mass of its populace to artificially create a “sub-class of needy” voting block. This to include the importation of the family members of those in its local and federal prison system. NY has (attempted to) define a new bottom (a 3rd worldly) aspect that has no business being furthered in America. It has long-tolerated shanty towns that were the Bronx, with people living in “warehoused” boarded-up buildings with no utilities. It has tolerated and (by subway geography) fostered a homeless population of which they city cannot even fathom its census. With all of these “problems” NYC/NY has been able to keep you afraid long enough to turn you into a sheep, and one that just barely survives the interruption of supply of basic human needs on the sub-populations cited, (as with Sandy) or else that zombie hoard would hunt you. You are perfectly happy to surrender though, as someone has offered you the lotus of “peace” and you ate it.

        NY is only an example of what not to be, and its cops/mayor/statehouses/ and governor are milking it.

        1. avatar David B says:

          Right. And RF thinks that throwing guns into their hands will make everything better. Time and place for free speech–same rule applies to guns.

        2. avatar Joe R. says:

          Wrong modus operandi, KEEPING GUNS out of the hands of “bad” people is not keeping guns out of the hands of bad people. THEREFORE, keeping guns out of the hands of ALL PEOPLE will not do so either [History has already spoken, and it has done a long soliloquy on NY alone]. Keeping guns out of the hands of the average citizens makes them a target. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO MAKE THEM A TARGET.

  7. avatar onezero says:

    I’m thinking John Cleese would not have been able to walk in New York.

    1. avatar JWM says:

      Ministry of Silly Walks. Funny, that.

  8. avatar William says:

    There’s a Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks joke to be made, but I just can’t think of it right now.

    So, here’s the link, instead: https://youtu.be/iV2ViNJFZC8

    1. avatar onezero says:

      Thanks William. I’m somewhat Tech challenged & can’t figure out how to link stuff yet. My college computer class used a card puncher.

  9. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Even if the only requirements to carry a firearm openly (or concealed) were (a) being 21 years of age (or even 18), (b) not being a convicted or confessed felon, and (c) not being under the infuence of intoxicants, most of the people at issue would still not be allowed to carry. And there would still be understandable pressure to enforce the law.

  10. avatar George says:

    Actually, the reason we have so many thugs on the streets is more directly related to lack of parenting. We have relieved parents of their responsibility to raise their kids. Make a law that says if little Johnny fails to attend class or disrupts it, the parents have to stand in front of a real judge and explain why. I guarantee that will happen only ONCE, then you can bet little Johnny will be a good, if not sore, student. We can’t make parents love their kids, but we can darn sure make them take responsibility for them. You will also find that as little Johnny learn that there are things called “opportunities” out there, that he’ll want one.

  11. avatar schernobyl says:

    So if i have hemorrhoids or chafed legs or thighs or an injured toe i should avoid new york. Check

    Just another reason I don’t plan to spend my time or money there

  12. avatar Silver says:

    Open carry is legal everywhere. Banning it was illegal and unlawful, and thus the law is null and void as per the Constitution. Yes, you’ll get arrested by the SS if you open carry, but that doesn’t change facts.

    Language is important. Carrying is legal. Laws against carry are illegal.

  13. avatar Removed_californian says:

    How to end street crime? Ban streets, duh.

  14. avatar MarkPA says:

    Let’s use our imaginations here.

    Suppose NYC went Shall-Issue. Any adult with a felony-free record could get a CWP regardless of color. Let’s go a step farther; suppose NYC had a Shall-Issue “Learner’s Permit” that would allow an 18-yo to carry in the presence of a parent who had an adult permit (but need not carry herself).

    Now, reinstitute Stop & Frisk; again, in our imaginations. How might the practice evolve under such (imaginary) circumstances?

    Officer: Excuse me, young man; but, is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
    Youth: Good day to you Officer Molly. As a matter of fact, it [IS, is-NOT] a gun.
    Would you care to see my CWP?
    And, in any case, I hasten to add that I’m always happy to see you.

    What had heretofore been a relatively rude and demeaning experience (‘Up against the wall and spread `em!’) would become a relatively cordial interaction that might be dispensed with in a minute or less. If the youth acknowledges that he is – indeed – packing, the display of CWP dispenses with the command: “Present arms!”. There is no point to searching for what the officer already knows is lawfully present. Even an unaccompanied 18-year-old could offer to display his CWP-Learner’s-Permit as evidence that he is a law-abiding citizen. He might still be frisked, but it might be a less invasive experience.

    There are those among us who blanch at the prospect of S&F anywhere in the US, most of all, in their own precincts. When Wyoming police take-up S&F I’ll worry about that. We will see what happens in Texas next year. In precincts where carry is socially acceptable I expect that LEOs will soon tire of fruitless S&F exercises.

    Far more important – I think – is to create a fissure in the Won’t-Issue jurisdictions. I’d like to see any pretext that might flip Won’t-Issue States to Shall-Issue. The scenario I describe might serve to restore S&F to a respectable policing practice precisely because Shall-Issue would make the practice palatable.

    Bear in mind that the 4A protects us from “unreasonable” searches; it does not require a judge-signed warrant for every search. That particular word allows latitude for endless debate on the meaning of “reasonable” vs. “unreasonable”. In contrast, there ought to be less room for debate about the meaning of the phrase “shall not be infringed”. This contrast in strength of terminology works in favor of “no infringement” on 2A but “reasonable” searches under 4A.

    Another consideration is Federalism. We can ask whether a given unwarranted search is more-or-less “reasonable” according to community standards. IIFC, a game-warden doesn’t need a warrant to search for poached game. Coming from a rural background, that doesn’t strike me as wholly unreasonable; but, a city dweller might object to a game warden demanding to look inside his garage.

    What are the community standards in Harlem? I don’t presume to know; but I suspect they are different from my own. Perhaps this is a population that doesn’t want its gang members carrying in public when they are under-age or convicted of violent felonies. At the same time, they might object to the intrusiveness of ‘Up against the wall and spread `em’. Under my proposal (NYC goes Shall-Issue) perhaps the interaction I imagine would accord with this community’s standards for a “reasonable” search for weapons that wouldn’t lead to drug arrests.

    S&F hasn’t collected many guns off NYC streets. If S&F worked PERFECTLY, the yield would be 0.0. The effect of S&F isn’t to collect illegal guns; rather, it is to deny liberty-of-movement of illegal guns. It raises the risk of being caught on-the-street.

    Think of the proposition like this. We want to corner criminals to deny their freedom to keep or bear arms (without impinging the liberty of the law-abiding). S&F raises the risk of getting caught bearing arms; but, has no effect on keeping arms. Unannounced searches on the residences of criminals on probation/parole raises the risk of getting caught keeping arms in the criminal’s own home. Raising consciousness among inner-city females reduces the ability to hid guns in homes where non-criminals reside. These 3 enforcement techniques should reduce gun use by criminals. The more effectively implemented, the fewer guns would be discovered.

    We have to ask ourselves what WE PotG are really looking to advance. Do we want carry by peaceable citizens? Or, do we want to promote unfettered liberty for violent – convicted – gang members to carry? Do we want to solicit support from inner-city voters? Or, do we want them to continue to live under Jim-Crow Progressive style? Are we able to read the Bill-of-Rights and align “not be infringed” with “make no law”? Or, dilute “infringed” by equating it with: “in a manner . . . prescribed by law”; “unreasonable”; “without due process of law”; “speedy and public”; “impartial”; “assistance of council”; “excessive bail”; “excessive fines”?

    In our rhetoric we can choose to analogize “shall not be infringed” with any of the corresponding phrases appearing in the BoR. We could say that “shall not be infringed” is comparably as strong as “make no law”. Or, we could say that these phrases are on a par with “in a manner . . . prescribed by law”, “unreasonable”, “speedy” or not-“excessive”. The second approach invites the Progressives to choose as their corner-stone the weakest standard to be found in the BoR text and say that no other right should be construed to be any stronger than the weakest. Where does that put “infringed”?

  15. avatar Wiregrass says:

    SCU: sounds like a plug for the next cop show from CBS.

  16. avatar Stinkeye says:

    The way to stop NYC street crime is to nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    Actually, New York City is the second-safest big city in the US. Safer than Austin, San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland OR or Seattle. It isn’t a sh1thole or a hotbed of crime. It’s a peaceful city.

    The latest “surge” in NYC shootings is no surge at all. New York City had an abnormally low number of murders in 2014. This year, it will be back to 2013 levels, which was a historic low.

    Just like shooting of police officers nationwide is up this year — compared to the previous year which had the lowest number of killings of cops since the 1880s.

    Just like the sale of guns, which is down compared to the height of then buying frenzy when Obama went batsh1t crazy after Newtown.

    Statistics in a vacuum are worthless.

    I’m an ex-New Yorker, and I don’t like NYC in the least, but dangerous it is not.

    1. avatar Silver says:

      It’s definitely a hotbed of crime, just the kind of crime that the criminals have made legal.

  18. avatar Bunny says:

    Legalize drugs- destroys the black market- and through a very tight prescription system for the more dangerous drugs (heroin, OxyContin, cocaine, etc.). As long as the make money quick incentive exists, crime will remain. No amount of force can change that. Take a look at countries who have the death penalty for trafficking drugs-the blacker market is thriving. The idea is the same as prohibition, destroy their flow of supply. The irony is that more force= more addiction = more crime. It’s cyclical. The sooner we accept the way the world actually works, the sooner we can actually minimize unnecessary death and crime to the best of our capabilities. Right now 1 30mg oxycodone pill costs $1 from the pharmacy. Depending in what agency I reference, the street price of that is $10-$30. That’s $900-$2900 profit from selling 100 pills. No amount of prohibition will ever stop that financial incentive.

    Liberals think we can eliminate gun violence, HA. The same is said for drugs (although one is a constitutional right). It’s fantasy to believe prohibition will solve anything.

    1. avatar David B says:

      You’ll get a bunch of “hear, hear” and sycophantic fawning for this viewpoint, Bunny, but guns and drugs don’t mix. Guns and alcohol don’t mix. Guns and domestic abuse/violence don’t mix. Guns and felons don’t mix. You want drugs and the mythical freedom that you think will exist by legalizing them? Then you lose your guns. Your 2 year child yelling and screaming and throwing a temper tantrum that he wants to run with sharp knives in his hands is a much lesser problem than if you gave in to his wishes. That’s another thing–take drugs and lose your kids. Losers do drugs. I will go a step farther and make this personal on Father’s Day–I bet you’re a terrible parent or a product of them. No offense intended just an observation. People who hold these viewpoints should not be entrusted with guns or kids.

  19. avatar joe says:

    I’ve had my share of encounters with the guardian angels in Chicago. I’m most decidedly not a fan.

  20. avatar Fuque says:

    I had no Idea visiting Angels were still on patrol. Id a thought Cops would have claimed a Street monopoly by now.

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