Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that a summer initiative concentrating extra officers in high-crime neighborhoods has reduced shootings and murders in those areas.
The Summer All Out program, which reassigned 330 desk cops to walk the beat in 10 precincts and four public housing areas, emphasizes the type of cooperation between officers and civilians that has become the heart of Bratton's law enforcement strategy.
"That is the most effective way to police -- in unison with the community," de Blasio said at a news conference in a northern Bronx precinct that has seen a 70 percent drop in shootings since Summer All Out began on June 8.
The neighborhoods targeted in the initiative saw a combined 30 percent drop in shootings and a 35 percent reduction in murders, NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said.
The program will run for three months.
"Some weeks ago, people were very concerned about the direction things were going in," de Blasio said of a spike in crime then. "The NYPD has an extraordinary ability to make strategic adjustments, to apply resources where they're needed most and to change a situation on a dime."
The Summer All Out precincts have experienced a 5.8 percent drop in overall "index" crimes, which range from murder to rape to grand larceny, police said.
But the program results come as the number of rape cases have risen citywide.
Deputy Police Commissioner of Operations Dermot Shea said Wednesday that year-to-date, the city has seen a 6 percent increase in rapes, with half the attacks -- 22 -- occurring within the past month.
An 82-year-old woman was raped in her Brighton Beach home early Tuesday, police said.
The mayor has stressed the strengthening of relationships between cops and civilians, and the rebuilding of trust as the anniversary of Eric Garner's death approaches Friday.
The Staten Island man died after being held in an apparent chokehold by a police officer, sparking demonstrations against police brutality and contributing to a national conversation about race and policing.
De Blasio Wednesday resisted revisiting comments he made in December about coaching his biracial son in dealing with police. The remarks were seen by police unions as unsupportive of officers.
"My values are the same values. My approach is the same approach," he said. "We've got to focus on moving forward. We've got to leave the past behind, bring police and community together."