The explosion of shootings in New York City last year appears to have a significant correlation to quality-of-life calls in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods, NYPD officials say.
The city recorded a nearly 100% increase in shootings in 2020, with 1,531 compared to 777 in 2019; the number of victims climbed from 924 the previous year to 1,868, NYPD figures show. An analysis of the calls found that shootings often happened within six hours of calls to 311 operators about six major quality-of-life complaints: drinking in public, open drug activity, and loud noise in parks, commercial establishments like bodegas, residential areas and sidewalks, said Chief Michael LiPetri, head of NYPD crime control strategies.
The correlation is prompting the NYPD to intensify efforts in 2021 to engage community leaders and other stakeholders to help the department deal with quality-of-life issues in an effort to reduce violence, LiPetri said.
"At some point it needs to come to enforcement, and we need backing of many, many different agencies and leaders and stakeholders in the community," LiPetri said in an interview with Newsday.
The calls related to complaints about activity that took place within 500 feet of the eventual shooting, although it was unclear if the activities actually prompted the shootings, officials said.
Richard Aborn, head of the Citizens Crime Commission, said the NYPD data indicated that a lack of quality-of-life enforcement may have a negative impact on the street. The data, which Aborn believed showed a "loose correlation" between 311 calls and shootings, nevertheless may help officials make better decisions on deploying resources, he said.
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