Can Good Cop Work Overcome the Loss of Stop-and-Frisk Database?
While the loss of the controversial stop-and-frisk database will be felt by NYPD, officers say they 'will still figure out how to get the job done.'
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
July 19, 2010
NEW YORK CITY – The NYPD can no longer maintain its controversial stop-and-frisk database of innocent New Yorkers, a blow to city leaders who say it was vital to combatting crime.
Gov. Paterson signed legislation yesterday eliminating the database of information about people stopped then released by cops, saying it was “not a policy for a democracy.”
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly made no statement yesterday, but predicted earlier this week that killers and other criminals would remain free longer – maybe even forever – if the governor signed the law.
While still calling the law a victory for criminals, some at the NYPD said street cops and detectives see the loss of the database as an obstacle they can overcome.
“The bosses are pissed off about it, but for us it’s like, ‘Okay. Next. We’ll do what we have to do,’” said a veteran Manhattan detective.
“It’s one tool, one resource, and it can be very helpful. I guarantee some guys won’t get caught, but we’ll still figure out how to get the job done.”
One supervisor said the old standbys – “good interrogations, good investigations” – will allow police to keep crime down.
Under the new law, police are still allowed to record the race and age of people they stop but don’t arrest or issue a summons. They cannot, however, record the person’s name and address, as was done with more than 2.5 million stops in the database.
“Maybe that might work in Bosnia. Maybe that might work in Somalia. Maybe it would have worked in the Soviet Union in 1984,” Paterson said. “But we can’t allow that to happen here.”
Young men playing basketball at Manhattan’s Baruch Houses, some of whom have been stopped, applauded the law.
“It’s a good thing they’re getting rid of our names in the computer,” said Rico Salazar, 27, who has been stopped five times. “The police will feel like they need to go all out ‘cause they can’t keep record of it anymore.”