Bratton joined the group for its annual meeting last week at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center to reintroduce himself to the city he once served, and to discuss his continued plan to rebuild community ties and do away with “stop and frisk.”
“In the area of crime, as you are well aware, there are phenomenal changes in this city,” he said. “It’s certainly a far cry from where we were back in the dark days of the early 90s coming out of the tragedies of the 70s and 80s.”
There has been a nearly 86 percent decline in the city murder rate since 1993, and a 50 percent drop since this time last year, according to CompStat statistics.
It's not all rosy, though. Grand larceny auto is up 15 percent, rape is up 19 percent from last year - 31 in 2014 compared to 26 in 2013 – and burglaries have seen an 8.8 percent increase.
However, robberies and felony assault have seen double-digit declines while grand larceny is also slightly down since 2013.
“This area is so much safer than it was before, as is the whole city,” Bratton said of Jamaica and other south Queens neighborhoods, adding that the 103rd Precinct has seen just six murders in 2014.
While Bratton attributes the significant decrease in crime to the addition of nearly 6,000 police officers since the 90s, he also addressed his opposition to a City Council plan to add 1,000 police officers to the current force.
“We disagree on certain issues, but we are doing it in a public, transparent way, and we are doing it in a way that are comfortable with our ultimate goal of making the city a safer place,” Bratton said.
Borough President Melinda Katz has been surprised with how collaborative the new administration has been since Bratton began his tenure in January.
“We ask for the Police Department to partake in the meetings and actually resolve issues with us,” Katz said. “It may not be overnight, but just to have them sitting there and just to have a conversation that flows from community members to the Police Department and back is so important.”