When Mayor De Blasio was running for mayor, his opponents said crime would return to the heyday of David Dinkins’s wild west New York. Of course, this in itself is a sort of racist implication, but more about that later.
According to commissioner William Bratton and his much heralded CompStat program, (we are up to CompStat 2.0, incidentally) crime in NY has dropped dramatically since he took over from Ray Kelly.
Mayor De Blasio recently touted how crime YTD is down 1.7% from the same period last year, but further added that crime is down a whopping 5.8% since 2014, his first year as mayor.
Never mind that almost every day now there is a report of a slashing on the subway. Last week there was 2 in one day.
Tuesday morning I was on my way to work, I take the D or B train to 34th Street and transfer to an F or M train to get to 23rd Street. The second I got off the train around 8:20 or so an announcement was made:
“Due to an investigation at 21st Street Queensbridge there is no downtown F or M train service.” I immediately headed for the escalator, so I could jump on a downtown R train. But as I was about to get on the escalator, there was a new announcement:
“D and B trains will be making local stops between 34th Street and West 4th Street.” I waited.
When a D train finally came in, after waiting outside the station for a full 5 minutes (I could see it stopped there) I hopped on, only to discover after the doors had closed that despite the announcement, the next stop would be West 4th Street. I guess the train operator didn’t get the word.
Getting conflicting or just plain wrong information from NYC Transit is nothing new, I think it’s their stock in trade with employees sitting in a room somewhere snickering at sucker New Yorkers waiting for phantom trains.
I only mention this incident because I found out THREE DAYS LATER that the reason for the delay was that a young man had snatched a cell phone from an even younger woman on a subway platform somewhere in Queens and then tried to escape by jumping down onto the tracks and attempting to run through the tunnel. Another train hit him, and though he survived I was a half hour late to work and the service interruption lasted upwards of two and a half hours. Way to go, NYC transit.
So it was a crime, one that occurred at the height of the morning rush hour.
I am watching TV as I write this, and I just saw for the umpteenth time a video of a man struggling with his victim at an exit of the 6 Train Bleecker Street station early this morning. He slashed his victim as well as robbing him.
Yesterday I rode home from a meeting downtown on the C train, and at 42nd Street five police officers got on the train. Four were white and one was African American, or perhaps a dark-skinned Latino. We rode together all the way to 145th Street where the five of them got off together. During the entire 12-minute or so ride, the four white officers engaged in banter and interacted with each other. Not once did any of them address the officer of color, and neither did he interact with them. That is the state of our police department in a nutshell.
Last Saturday I went to get the paper after starting the laundry at my regular Laundromat down the block, on the corner of 152nd Street and Broadway. As I walked downtown on the block between 152nd and 151st Street I noticed the ladder to one of the fire escapes was down. Then I further noticed crime scene tape everywhere, in front of that building, on the tree in front, and across the downtown lane of Broadway at the corner of 151st.
I looked up, and there was a whole window missing from one of the 3rd floor apartments facing the fire escape.
Of course whatever happened never made the news, as most of the crime in my precinct, the 30th.
Just for kicks I looked up the CompStat figures for the 30th Precinct for this year, and here’s what they are:
41 felonious assaults.
3 shooting victims.
We’ve been here 18 months, and though I was a little leery at first, I feel pretty comfortable walking the streets, despite all of the sidewalk memorials I’ve seen on Broadway (most crime happens on Broadway it seems) for shooting and stabbing victims. Most of those crimes are personal, and since I don’t know anyone around here I don’t worry too much. But it shouldn’t be that way. Those involved shouldn’t need to worry that if something happens to them their assailant will probably never be caught or prosecuted.
There was a mugging at my subway stop on February 1st. A man was slashed for refusing to give up his cell phone to his attacker around 8:30 PM.
Again trains were delayed (I wondered why the C was not stopping at 155th that night) and an assailant got away. The next day there was another slashing on the C line at 110th Street, a dispute over an illegal metro card swipe.
I have to say I don’t feel too safe on the subway. A week ago I rode a downtown C train with a homeless man who spent most of the ride throwing garbage against the car wall opposite of where he sat. He was in very good physical shape and angry. I would not want to have had to fight him.
I felt much safer when Mayor Mike was in charge and Ray Kelly was running the department. However bad his reputation with the minority community was, he really cared about making the streets safe, instead of about numbers.
I did not vote for De Blasio, and I for sure won’t vote for him when he runs for a second term. I just hope someone with more sense comes along.