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Police Brief White Plains Neighborhoods on Stats

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The White Plains Council of Neighborhood Associations invited Lt. Kevin Christopher, who commands community policing, to discuss how Compstat documents weekly crime statistics at its Tuesday meeting.

“It’s one of our biggest tools in reducing crime,” said Christopher. “The Compstat cycle is you get the report, you strategize, you make an action about how it's going to happen. So if we have burglaries on the street, we strategize how we're going to take care of that. Who are we going to deploy? What type of undercover people? Are we going to set up a decoy house? And then after two weeks we review the process and see if our burglaries have gone down."

The department notes trends in various crime categories, such as a Bronx ring’s recent burglary rash on Soundview Avenue, Beverly Road and Battle Hill streets, and alters staffing or other departmental plans to make arrests and reduce future crimes.

The lieutenant summarized how crime trends have changed over the past year, saying, aggravated domestic assaults grew from one incident to two, simple assaults decreased by 27 percent, robberies fell 25 percent from 40 to 30, motor vehicle thefts dropped 7.4 percent, and larcenies rose 17 percent.

“Shoplifting is one of our biggest issues. We try to treat it as important as a homicide,” said Christopher.

Compstat also tracks the moves of various police officers and firefighters, including how often officers get out of the car to speak with people. Last year, officers did the “park, talk, and walk” 2,301 times.

“We promote getting out of a car, stop driving around, get out on a sidewalk, shake a couple hands and get to know the storeowners in town and those go for the residential areas to,” said Christopher.

Arrests of homeless people fell 29.8 percent from 104 to 73 thanks to ongoing department efforts to train more officers to deal with those in crises, according to Christopher.

Currently about 1/3 of 195 officers are trained in crisis prevention and tactics. A county social worker has joined two detectives on a mental health outreach team that keeps in touch with local case workers. Christopher said the team works to connect homeless people with permanent services to offer them more long-term assistance and prevent taxpayers from fronting the more expensive $240 nightly incarceration rate.

“Years ago, when we walked into Open Arms Shelter or a homeless shelter in town in uniform, well everybody ran out the back door, including the staff, because everybody thought we had a warrant in pocket,” said Christopher. “That’s really not the case anymore. We’re on first name basis.”

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