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NYPD looking to focus on attracting kinder, gentler recruits, officials say

November 02, 2015

Don't bother signing up for the NYPD if you are looking for action and adventure. But if you are a people person, well, it just might be the job for you.

Next Spring the NYPD plans to unveil a recruitment campaign boiled down to those simple messages, stressing character and interpersonal skills, officials disclosed Monday.

"We are saying if you are not someone who is sensitive, if you are not someone who is interested in being involved . . . if you are not a people person, then this job is probably not for you," first deputy commissioner Benjamin B. Tucker told a group of reporters Monday.

The kinder, gentler message the NYPD is planning for recruiting has been in the works for months and comes at a time when the department is seeking a more diverse group of recruits.

In the past, recruiting campaigns stressed the action and excitement of the job, as well as the benefits package, said one senior NYPD official familiar with the planning. The emphasis now will be on character and commitment to service, something Tucker also touched on in his remarks.

At a later news briefing, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and aides revealed a number of technology developments, including wider use of the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system and a souped up Compstat 2.0, which is expected to soon provide beat cops with instantaneous and very detailed crime data. For the moment, that level of information is available at the precinct commander level and higher.

ShotSpotter uses acoustical towers set up earlier this year in parts of the Bronx and Brooklyn to pick up gunshot noise and pinpoint the location from where the sounds emanated. Police have said that the technology has allowed them to get to a crime scene faster. More towers are slated to provide Harlem and parts of East New York, two areas that have seen increased shootings this year, with ShotSpotter coverage. In other developments, Dermot Shea, deputy commissioner for operations, said October saw a decrease of nearly six percent in serious felonies compared to last October, the lowest number of serious felonies for the month since the start of the Compstat era in 1994.