The NYPD has launched a new program in Cobble Hill dubbed “Operation Spot It to Secure It,” the New York Post reports, which has successfully reduced theft in the neighborhood by implementing a technique where “cops started taking photos of cellphones, iPads and other goods left in plain sight in parked cars. Cops then ran the owners’ license plates, and if they lived nearby, officers paid them a visit and asked them to keep their valuables out of sight. If cops couldn’t find an owner, a letter would be sent to his or her address.” And so now, as the Post puts it, the “dimwitted yuppies of Cobble Hill” have benefitted from a “47% drop of grand larcenies from March to April” and a 32 % drop for the whole year.
The Post has a pretty contemptuous take on the program, deriding Cobble Hill residents as both “hipsters” and, as mentioned before, “dimwitted yuppies”—terms which haven’t always been synonymous, but I guess are now? Anyway, while I am usually pretty loathe to agree with the Post ever, about anything, I kind of understand the annoyance with this particular NYPD operation. The Post further reports that another aspect of the program is that “police also sent letters to residents who left their apartment doors open or unlocked, sending about 35 to 40 in total. There’s also been a dramatic plunge in burglaries.” So, basically, in the borough that pretty much invented helicopter parenting, the NYPD is acting like the ultimate helicopter parent and making sure that people who feel privileged enough to leave their doors unlocked and their five hundred dollar phones lying around unsecured without fear of any consequence, will not, in fact, suffer any consequences. I mean, just because you leave your door unlocked, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you should get robbed, but maybe you shouldn’t leave your door unlocked, moron, this is New York City.
The fact that this program was launched in one of the most affluent parts of Brooklyn also speaks to the vastly different relationship that the NYPD has with residents depending on what precinct they inhabit. Whereas it seems that Cobble Hill residents can count on a gentle reminder to be more careful with their belongings when they leave them in their cars like total idiots, young men and teenage boys in East New York can count on getting stopped-and-frisked when they do nothing more than walk down the street in their own neighborhoods. These disparate treatments of Brooklyn residents are both part of city-sanctioned NYPD programs, but the difference in how people are treated is telling. One set of residents is assumed to always be guileless victims, while the other group is always to blame, even when they’ve done nothing suspicious. Nice work, NYPD.
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