Embracing Technology and Changing the Culture at the NYPD
"In 2015, crime in New York City fell once again, reaching its lowest
level in recent decades. New Yorkers are now safer in the city than they
have been in years, and yet tensions between police officers and the
communities in which they work have continued to mount. The challenge
facing the New York Police Department (NYPD) today is to maintain safe
streets while ushering in a new era of mutual respect between officers
and local communities.
In the last two years, William Bratton has served for a second term
as Commissioner of the New York Police Department. In this time, he led
the NYPD away from aggressive tactics used to crack down on street-level
crime, embracing instead a strategy that balances crime prevention and
community engagement. In Bratton’s words, his second term was focused on
moving the NYPD from a 'warrior' to a 'guardian' policing mindset.
This attempt at cultural change involved new policies regarding
training and recruiting, neighborhood policing, and, perhaps most
visibly, the adoption of social media platforms throughout the NYPD. A
recently-published case study, co-authored by Harvard Law School
Professor Susan Crawford and me, chronicles these organizational
changes, drawing from dozens of interviews conducted by Professor
Crawford starting in 2015. The full white paper, published by the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, is available here."