Why is NYC Crime Going Down? Study By Professor Dennis Smith Finds Clues
Why is New York City’s crime rate bucking a national trend and continuing to fall after a decade in steep decline? In his latest study of winning management practices, NYU Wagner’s Professor Dennis Smith found one vital reason, working with Professor Robert Purtell of SUNY Albany: It’s the success of New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly's "Operation Impact." This crimefighting measure relies heavily on new police recruits, carefully scrutinized crime data and close supervision by top officials, including Police Commissioner Kelly, who is a member of of the Dean's Council at NYU Wagner. The program, which began in 2003, hones in on crime patterns in delineated pockets of the city – and it has accounted for much of the recent success in lowering crime rates, precinct by precinct, the statistical analysis determined.
On June 27, 2007, a press conference at Wagner's Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue -- at which Professors Smith and Purtell released their study and discussed it in detail -- drew a dozen media outlets, including The New York Times (a link to whose news article appears below). It also spurred inquiries from universities, government offices, and nonprofit organizations throughout the country. Purtell received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from Wagner.