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There's No Link Between Fewer Gun Seizures and Stop-and-Frisks: Bratton

By Murray Weiss | August 12, 2015 5:52pm
 The police commissioner says gun seizures were down even while stop-and-frisks hit record highs.
The police commissioner says gun seizures were down even while stop-and-frisks hit record highs.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

NEW YORK CITY — Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said there is no correlation between the decline in stop-and-frisks in the Big Apple and the continuing decline in the number of guns taken off the streets.

Speaking on AM 970 radio show “The Answer,” Bratton addressed a report on DNAinfo New York on Tuesday that disclosed the number of guns seizures had fallen to its lowest level in nine years, and speculation the following day in a tabloid newspaper tying the decline to the steep drop in stop-and-frisks in recent years.

“There was, as usual, an unnamed law enforcement source who had that opinion, but that is not an opinion I share,” Bratton said of the report.

He then echoed an exclusive report by DNAinfo New York in August 13, 2012 that showed skyrocketing stop-and-frisks failed to get more guns off the streets, shattering arguments of city officials at the time.

“In 2010 and 2011, there were close to 700,000 stop, questions and frisks and the crime numbers were much higher, as crime has gone down and stop-and-frisk has gone down, we have not seen a direct correlation,” he said.

“More stop-and-frisks does not necessarily mean that there are more gun seizures or more reduction in crime,” he added, pointing out that “the number of fewer guns is a relatively small amount.”

Last year, 2,510 guns were seized by the NYPD. By comparison, in 2002 when Michael Bloomberg became mayor, the NYPD confiscated 4,069. During nearly all of Bloomberg's 12 years at City Hall, the number of gun seizures declined even with astronomical increases in stopping-and-frisking New Yorkers.

“With the issue of guns seizures, you can look at a glass half full or a glass half empty,” Bratton said. “It might be argued that since we are getting fewer guns, and the number of fewer guns is a relatively small amount, it might mean there are fewer guns being carried openly.”

The commissioner said the bottom line measurements are overall crime numbers — crime is down 4.7 percent this year — and shootings, which are also down by nine incidents compared to 2014, he said.