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 The bottone to this is hard to ignore.  The city of Albany could be totally wired with this program at a cost of less than $2000 a year.  The entire  for not much more.

-----Original Message-----
From: Oneill, Terence
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 11:07 AM
To: Thomas Gebhart; Andrew Harvey; Bill Pettit; Dan VanRiper; Diane Hansen; Henry Madej; Hilary Tommaney; Holly Katz; Jack Consiglio; Jcunniff@nycap.rr.com; Jim Lyons; John O'Grady; John Paneto; Julie Elson; Louise McNeilly; Mark D. Sullivan; Mark D. Sullivan; Susan Holland
Cc: 'TerryONeillEsq@aol.com'
Subject: Neighborhood Preservation Crime Prevention Act

 

Dear Friends:

 

Thank you for the opportunity to address CANA last evening.  As promised, following is the text of my prepared remarks.  You will observe that they contain a number of items I didn’t get around to.  I hope you will find the program and the embedded links of interest.

 

In case it did not come across explicitly, I am advocating that the state revive the long-dormant NPCPA and use it to spark a renaissance of community-based crime prevention activity in communities across the state.  This would be especially beneficial to IMPACT designated communities in upstate cities and promote a stronger role for organizations like CANA.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me with and questions.

 

Regards,

Terry O'Neill, Esq.
117 Chestnut Street
Albany, New York 12210
518-465-4413
TerryONeillEsq@aol.com
http://www.constantine-institute.org/

http://www.constantinescircus.org/

 

 

A PROGRAM OF PUBLIC SAFETY INITIATIVES

 

OPERATION IMPACT

 

 For more than two decades now, the state’s priorities in local assistance to law enforcement have been overwhelmingly directed toward expanding standard police and prosecution functions and jail and prison capacity. The Pataki administration’s signature law enforcement program, Operation IMPACT, is emblematic of this priority.
http://www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us/crimnet/ojsa/impact/index.htm

 

 There has been precious little in the way of official resources devoted to encouraging innovation in neighborhood preservation, crime prevention, community-based justice, alternative dispositions of offenders’ cases and prisoner re-entry, notwithstanding the fact that it can clearly be demonstrated that these alternative strategies are outstandingly cost-effective. There is, however, an existing, but dormant, statutory framework to encourage these strategies.

 

THE NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION CRIME PREVENTION ACT

 

 On April 15, 1983, Governor Mario M. Cuomo approved the Neighborhood Preservation Crime Prevention Act. (See: Executive Law, Article 36, http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi?COMMONQUERY=LAWS)

 

 This law was intended to build an infrastructure of community based non-profit corporations supported by state technical and material assistance that would stabilize neighborhoods and give communities the wherewithal to fight back against crime, drugs, disorder and environmental degradation. These “companies” would function in a coordinated and cooperative manner with traditional public safety agencies serving as a valuable supplement to them thus greatly enhancing the security of neighborhoods at modest public expense. The idea was to make regular and sustained involvement of community stakeholders an integral part of neighborhood preservation crime prevention strategy.

 

 Less than three years later, however, the state of New York abandoned its plan to build an infrastructure of neighborhood preservation crime prevention companies and embarked instead on building a colossal and exponentially more costly infrastructure of prisons. Those prisons ended up warehousing people who came from the very neighborhoods that would most have benefited by the modest public expense contemplated by the NPCPA. As the crack epidemic took hold in the inner cities over the next decade it became evident that the people who lived those communities had been abandoned to its ravages and consigned to lives in which broken families, incarcerated fathers, deadly violence and drug addiction were to be their lot.

 

KINETIC WITH NON-KINETIC COMMUNITY CRIME CONTROL

 

 The NPCPA is still on the books. To have a powerful and focused impact on crime in our most beleaguered communities, NPCPA should be revived and used with Operation IMPACT to deliver a one-two punch to IMPACT communities. In the parlance of contemporary military strategy, this is called kinetic with non-kinetic warfare. Operation IMPACT provides resources to law enforcement agencies to prosecute the kinetic side. A well structured office to administer NPCPA at the Division of Criminal Justice Services would bring the non-kinetic strategy to our communities.  I would urge this association to adopt a resolution calling upon Governor-elect Spitzer to do just that and give co-equal priority to community-based civilian-directed crime prevention organizations.

 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 

 To compliment the one-two punch, we should encourage wide adoption of two applications of community crime-fighting technology -- real-time statistical crime mapping and an Internet-based two-way system of crime information shared between law enforcement and the community.

 

REAL-TIME CRIME MAPPING

 

 Thinking of buying a house or letting your college-bound kid rent an off-campus apartment?  Wouldn’t you like to get a picture of crime in that neighborhood?

 

 Technology for crime mapping is well advanced and has been deployed in cities as large as Chicago. http://www.ncjrs.gov/html/nij/mapping/index.html . Chief Tuffey’s redeployment plan for the Albany Police Department relies heavily on this capability.  But his information will only be available and used internally.  Why stop there? 

 

 In many communities, the public may log on to the Internet to access maps that display recent incidents of various categories of crime at the neighborhood level. This presents a vivid and immediate picture of the kind and amount of crime that you are experiencing. The effect of this is to make the deployment of police resources more responsive to community demand generated by greater awareness by the public, community groups, realtors, landlords, tenants and the business sector. 

 

THE CITIZENOBSERVER NETWORK

 

 Crime mapping may be complimented by implementation of a system for crime information sharing. Such a resource is being popularized around the nation by a Minnesota-based Internet company called the CitizenObserver Alert Network
(http://www.citizenobserver.com/).

 

 The public media are highly accommodating to law enforcement authorities in publicizing breaking crime news.  Think of surveillance photos or videos of bank and convenience store robberies broadcast on the evening news.  There is, of course, a limit to their capacity to provide this service.

 

 CitizenObserver provides two-way communication between law enforcement and the public that enables accuracy and immediate notification of critical information. The service is available on-line 24 hours a day and information can be received via e-mail, fax, pager and cell phone at your home, place of business, neighborhood association or other location.

 

 The system provides information about crimes or other incidents that may threaten the community's safety. Targeted alerts help avoid "alert fatigue". Case Alerts allow law enforcement agencies to automatically disseminate information about open cases to area businesses and citizens with a focus on fugitives, missing persons, and unsolved crimes. Neighborhood Watch Group Alert give watch captains and registered members direct access to crime alerts and other information generated by law enforcement agencies, thereby strengthening the infrastructure of community crime prevention groups.

 

 The bottom line to this is hard to ignore.  The city of Albany could be totally wired with this program at a cost of less than $2000 a year.  The entire county for not much more.

 

PRISON INMATE REENTRY

 

 As is well known, the past fifteen years have seen a steady and welcome decline in rates of crime of all categories. Some fear that it has bottomed out. I don’t believe it necessarily has. One major area where I believe that we can have a further impact to drive crime rates down further is that of reentering prisoners. Thus far, New York’s efforts to guide the reintegration of some 26,000 DOCS inmates a year back into the community have been anemic, although, I must credit out-going Criminal Justice Director Chauncey Parker with getting the ball rolling in New York.

 

 Here is a map of Albany that locates all persons on parole or probation.  Feel surrounded?

 

 The solution to this problem is to assign a high priority to setting up in every community a well-organized network of providers to address the serious health, mental health and chemical dependency problems, educational and employability deficits, the lack of financial resources and the lost or attenuated ties to their families and home communities. We cannot afford to have these people at loose ends on their own. The justice system, at the community level, has an obligation to make that community as crime-free as possible. It cannot ignore the clear and present danger posed by having a significant number of people in its jurisdiction who face the real possibility of failure to reintegrate -- failure that often takes the form of a crime.

 

 Inmate reentry is an issue that is finally on the radar screen in New York.  The next administration will certainly make it a priority.  I’m asking you in advance to be both supportive and open-minded about it.  Ex-offenders are all around us.  It is in all of our best interest to support our community leaders in their efforts to keep them out of trouble.  For inmate reentry programs to work, the community must buy into them and employers must be willing to give them a break.

 

THE WAR ON DRUGS -- ARE WE GETTING OUR MONEY’S WORTH?

 

 Counties and municipalities across the country are struggling with tight budgets and rising taxes. On top of their basic responsibility for maintaining a full panoply of public safety services and disaster preparedness, the new demands of the era of terrorism have imposed staggering new burdens. It makes simple fiscal common sense now as never before to take a good, hard, unflinching look at what we are getting in return for the priority on drug enforcement that has so dominated the administration of justice for more than three decades now. We must adopt genuine criteria of accountability -- criteria that meet the same rigorous and objective performance standards that apply to any other economic activity. We need to know whether we’re getting our money’s worth.  You folks know that every tax dollar saved is a dollar that can be redirected to some other community priority.

 

 There is an incipient grassroots movement to do just that. It is based on the simple premise that local governments and the people they serve must have access to information on which to base sound choices in the expenditure of their resources on public safety services. It involves the development of objective performance indicators that can help county and municipal governments determine if their public safety dollars are being well spent and if not, how they might be better spent. To improve the public safety function to better target the most affected neighborhoods, minimize the unintended collateral damage caused by outmoded enforcement strategy and tactics and focus on key points in the network of distribution. And certainly, this calculus must include the contributory value of prevention and treatment efforts.

 

 The city of Syracuse was the first in the nation to conduct such a thoroughgoing police audit and to hold public hearings to look into a broad range of ideas the city administration could institute to provide effective and fiscally sound drug enforcement -- a new approach that came to be known locally as “Plan B.” The impetus for this effort was generated by the Syracuse-based reform group ReconsiDer, Inc. The police performance audit, which required considerable innovation in interpreting police activity data, was designed and conducted by Syracuse City Auditor Minchin Lewis. http://www.reconsider.org/issues/syracuse_auditors_rpt.htm

 

 The intelligent course of action pioneered in Syracuse is being increasingly followed in cities around the nation. There are people elsewhere in New York who are advocating this approach at the county and municipal level. That movement should be encouraged. As localities begin to see the wasteful fiscal implications of the status quo, demand for reform of state and federal drug laws will trickle up. Indeed, the next gubernatorial administration should make such an assessment for the entire state a top priority.  They will if they hear from you.

 


TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERORISM

 

 This topic may seem above and beyond the purview of this organization, but I’m presenting it to you as an opportunity to do something here in Albany as a matter of civic pride.
 
 The results of this historic national election can only be interpreted as a thorough repudiation of the politics of fear that President Bush and his supporters have visited on this nation with such tragic and disastrous results. That visitation is over. The time has come to head out in a thoroughly new direction. With respect to the public security problem posed by the rise of transnational organized crime and terrorism, there is indeed a better way. It is based upon the career achievements of a distinguished New Yorker who served in the administrations of Governor Mario M. Cuomo and President Bill Clinton with great distinction -- Tom Constantine.

 

 Tom’s two signature career achievements, dismantling the Cali Cartel and bringing its kingpins to justice and his contribution to ending three decades of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland, showed the world that the key to successfully confronting the threats of transnational organized crime and terrorism is honest, dedicated, professional law enforcement operating within the bounds of the strictest constitutional, legal and ethical standards. There is a right and civilized way to confront these threats that does not require or justify preemptive wars, forced regime change, chronic states of emergency, abridgement of long-standing conventions of warfare or cherished constitutional rights, no Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay, no barbaric interrogation methods. That is a message that this troubled world badly needs to hear.

 

 I have drafted and presented to the Legislature a bill that would create the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the Study of Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism. http://lark.phoblacht.net/TON031106g.html. It contemplates raising an endowment of $3 million to establish the institute within the State University of New York. Tom’s high international profile and extraordinary record of achievement in confronting the two great threats of our time constitute him a most valuable marketing asset for an endowment campaign. I have been pursuing every conceivable avenue hoping to find one that will get this bill onto Mr. Spitzer’s desk for adoption as a Governor’s Program bill.  If anyone here has his ear, do seize the opportunity to mention it to him.

 

Again, thank you for this opportunity to meet with you.

 

 

PRISON INMATE REENTRY

 

 As is well known, the past fifteen years have seen a steady and welcome decline in rates of crime of all categories. Some fear that it has bottomed out. I don’t believe it necessarily has. One major area where I believe that we can have a further impact to drive crime rates down further is that of reentering prisoners. Thus far, New York’s efforts to guide the reintegration of some 26,000 DOCS inmates a year back into the community have been anemic, although, I must credit out-going Criminal Justice Director Chauncey Parker with getting the ball rolling in New York.

 

 Here is a map of Albany that locates all persons on parole or probation.  Feel surrounded?

 

 The solution to this problem is to assign a high priority to setting up in every community a well-organized network of providers to address the serious health, mental health and chemical dependency problems, educational and employability deficits, the lack of financial resources and the lost or attenuated ties to their families and home communities. We cannot afford to have these people at loose ends on their own. The justice system, at the community level, has an obligation to make that community as crime-free as possible. It cannot ignore the clear and present danger posed by having a significant number of people in its jurisdiction who face the real possibility of failure to reintegrate -- failure that often takes the form of a crime.

 

 Inmate reentry is an issue that is finally on the radar screen in New York.  The next administration will certainly make it a priority.  I’m asking you in advance to be both supportive and open-minded about it.  Ex-offenders are all around us.  It is in all of our best interest to support our community leaders in their efforts to keep them out of trouble.  For inmate reentry programs to work, the community must buy into them and employers must be willing to give them a break.

 

THE WAR ON DRUGS -- ARE WE GETTING OUR MONEY’S WORTH?

 

 Counties and municipalities across the country are struggling with tight budgets and rising taxes. On top of their basic responsibility for maintaining a full panoply of public safety services and disaster preparedness, the new demands of the era of terrorism have imposed staggering new burdens. It makes simple fiscal common sense now as never before to take a good, hard, unflinching look at what we are getting in return for the priority on drug enforcement that has so dominated the administration of justice for more than three decades now. We must adopt genuine criteria of accountability -- criteria that meet the same rigorous and objective performance standards that apply to any other economic activity. We need to know whether we’re getting our money’s worth.  You folks know that every tax dollar saved is a dollar that can be redirected to some other community priority.

 

 There is an incipient grassroots movement to do just that. It is based on the simple premise that local governments and the people they serve must have access to information on which to base sound choices in the expenditure of their resources on public safety services. It involves the development of objective performance indicators that can help county and municipal governments determine if their public safety dollars are being well spent and if not, how they might be better spent. To improve the public safety function to better target the most affected neighborhoods, minimize the unintended collateral damage caused by outmoded enforcement strategy and tactics and focus on key points in the network of distribution. And certainly, this calculus must include the contributory value of prevention and treatment efforts.

 

 The city of Syracuse was the first in the nation to conduct such a thoroughgoing police audit and to hold public hearings to look into a broad range of ideas the city administration could institute to provide effective and fiscally sound drug enforcement -- a new approach that came to be known locally as “Plan B.” The impetus for this effort was generated by the Syracuse-based reform group ReconsiDer, Inc. The police performance audit, which required considerable innovation in interpreting police activity data, was designed and conducted by Syracuse City Auditor Minchin Lewis. http://www.reconsider.org/issues/syracuse_auditors_rpt.htm

 

 The intelligent course of action pioneered in Syracuse is being increasingly followed in cities around the nation. There are people elsewhere in New York who are advocating this approach at the county and municipal level. That movement should be encouraged. As localities begin to see the wasteful fiscal implications of the status quo, demand for reform of state and federal drug laws will trickle up. Indeed, the next gubernatorial administration should make such an assessment for the entire state a top priority.  They will if they hear from you.

 


TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERORISM

 

 This topic may seem above and beyond the purview of this organization, but I’m presenting it to you as an opportunity to do something here in Albany as a matter of civic pride.
 
 The results of this historic national election can only be interpreted as a thorough repudiation of the politics of fear that President Bush and his supporters have visited on this nation with such tragic and disastrous results. That visitation is over. The time has come to head out in a thoroughly new direction. With respect to the public security problem posed by the rise of transnational organized crime and terrorism, there is indeed a better way. It is based upon the career achievements of a distinguished New Yorker who served in the administrations of Governor Mario M. Cuomo and President Bill Clinton with great distinction -- Tom Constantine.

 

 Tom’s two signature career achievements, dismantling the Cali Cartel and bringing its kingpins to justice and his contribution to ending three decades of terrorist violence in Northern Ireland, showed the world that the key to successfully confronting the threats of transnational organized crime and terrorism is honest, dedicated, professional law enforcement operating within the bounds of the strictest constitutional, legal and ethical standards. There is a right and civilized way to confront these threats that does not require or justify preemptive wars, forced regime change, chronic states of emergency, abridgement of long-standing conventions of warfare or cherished constitutional rights, no Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay, no barbaric interrogation methods. That is a message that this troubled world badly needs to hear.

 

 I have drafted and presented to the Legislature a bill that would create the Thomas A. Constantine Institute for the Study of Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism. http://lark.phoblacht.net/TON031106g.html. It contemplates raising an endowment of $3 million to establish the institute within the State University of New York. Tom’s high international profile and extraordinary record of achievement in confronting the two great threats of our time constitute him a most valuable marketing asset for an endowment campaign. I have been pursuing every conceivable avenue hoping to find one that will get this bill onto Mr. Spitzer’s desk for adoption as a Governor’s Program bill.  If anyone here has his ear, do seize the opportunity to mention it to him.

 

Again, thank you for this opportunity to meet with you