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NYPD's CompStat Creator Jack Maple May Have Street Renamed After Him

By Kiratiana Freelon | April 8, 2014 1:49pm
 Police Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple at book party at Elaine's restaurant.
Police Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple at book party at Elaine's restaurant.
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Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

RICHMOND HILL — To many members of the NYPD, Jack Maple was the crime-fighting genius who developed the CompStat tracking program credited with helping dramatically slash New York's crime in the mid-1990s.

To the fashion-conscious, Maple was a dapper dresser, always clad in a bowler hat, bow tie and wing-tip shoes. 

And to some Richmond Hill residents, "Jack Maple" might soon be the name of the street in their neighborhood.

Queens’ Community Board 9 is set to vote Tuesday on a proposal to co-name 108th Street and Park Lane South as "Jack Maple Place," memorializing the street where the late NYPD deputy commissioner for operations grew up. 

The NYPD's press office did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

After attending night classes at Brooklyn Technical High School, he joined the NYPD as a transit officer patrolling the dangerous underworld in 1970s New York.

He rose through the ranks to serve as deputy commissioner from 1994 to 1996 under then Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, when the city's crime rate dropped by 40 percent. Famously, he drafted his strategies on napkins at Elaine's on the Upper East Side.

The NYPD and city officials credit the drop to CompStat, a computer-generated crime statistics and electronic mapping system that Maple developed. 

His later career with the NYPD coincided with the start of New York's evolution into America’s safest large city.

Maple consulted for big cities including Newark and New Orleans and his ideas helped Los Angeles, San Francisco and Baltimore secure significant drops in crime.

Maple left the NYPD in 1996 when Bratton was forced out by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. He spent the next five years as a consultant to police forces across the country, wrote a book and even inspired a CBS television series, "The District," which ran from 2000 to 2004.

Maple died of colon cancer in 2001 at the age of 48.

Regina Schaefer-Santoro, 48, said Maple always played basketball and baseball at Forest Park and wasn’t surprised that he rose through the NYPD ranks so quickly, citing his strong personality.

“He did a lot for this community,” said Schaefer-Santoro, a Community Board 9 member. "I think it’s nice that someone would want to memorialize him."

The measure would need city council approval to go forward.

Local historian Jacob Morris introduced the resolution for the co-naming just three weeks ago.  

“Maple's extraordinary success was a triumph of the eccentric over the conventional. But he was an iconoclast in ways far more important than his foppish dress. He challenged the way things were done. He questioned procedures. He was perhaps the most creative cop in history,” Morris wrote in his resolution.

Morris, who has proposed more than 30 street namings across the city, says this one has received some of the strongest support yet. 

"Without a question (Maple) one of the most innovative police officers in history,” Morris said. "Richmond Hill is perfectly justified in honoring a very important son of their community."