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NYPD Failed to Share Violent Crime Info With Public Housing Officials: DOI

By Ben Fractenberg | December 8, 2015 2:26pm
 The NYPD failed to share some information about violent crimes in public housing with NYCHA, according to a report released Tuesday.
The NYPD failed to share some information about violent crimes in public housing with NYCHA, according to a report released Tuesday.
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MIDTOWN — Police were violating an agreement with the city's public housing agency by not fully informing housing officials about criminal activity within public housing or crimes committed by residents, the Department of Investigation found in a year-long investigation.

The NYPD had agreed in 1996 to share all arrest and complaint reports regarding criminal activity in more than 2,500 public housing buildings.

The NYPD is creating an interactive database to improve information sharing about criminal activity in public housing with NYCHA officials, police said in response to a DOI report released Tuesday.

"We have reviewed the OIG document which identifies instances of reporting inconsistencies between the NYPD and NYCHA,” according to a statement from the NYPD. 

“The NYPD has been working closely with NYCHA in establishing formalized reporting criteria and protocols and developing an interactive database for documenting, communicating and following up on case referrals as required."

The DOI looked at all arrest reports in March regarding NYCHA housing and found the NYPD had reported just 67 percent of violent crimes.

Police did not alert the housing authority about a 19-year-old resident arrested for possession of a loaded hand gun, according to the report, or two other residents who attempted to rape someone inside a NYCHA apartment.

The housing authority could have used the information to permanently evict residents found to have committed a crime.

“DOI’s year-long investigation demonstrated, first, that the NYPD did not fully inform NYCHA about criminal activity in public housing, and second, that even when NYCHA knew of such activity, it simply failed to address the real and present danger,” DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said.

“The policy changes called for in DOI’s report, which have been adopted by the NYPD and NYCHA, will help close the gaps where criminals have been able to hide. They will make public housing safer for all of us,” Peters continued.

The DOI also found that the NYPD should do more to keep non-residents who have been arrested for drug dealing from trespassing in NYCHA buildings, and that the housing authority should dedicate more resources to its legal and investigative unit.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office was also committed to improving safety in public housing.

“We will not allow individuals who pose serious risk to public safety to put lives in jeopardy," the mayor said Tuesday. "Improved NYPD and NYCHA communication and process will shorten eviction and exclusion proceedings from public housing to weeks, as opposed to months, for serious offenders.”