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Top Cop: NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly

Violent crime fell so dramatically in New York City during the 1990s, that by 2002, the year Ray Kelly was appointed police commissioner, many doubted that the trend could continue. Even some of Kell's biggest fans were skeptical that the new commissioner could do much more than prevent crime from going back up.

And yet, since 2002, violent crime has fallen another twenty percent. Kelly attributes the fall to programs like Operation Impact, and the Real Time Crime Center, which focus resources in high-crime areas of the city.

But Ray Kelly has garnered the most attention for widening the scope of what local cops do. Prior to his arrival, a handful of police officers worked counterterrorism, and their main purpose was to protect visiting dignitaries. Today Kell's has 1,000 local cops on the beat. They monitor internet chat rooms, protect city landmarks, and are stationed in nine international cities. But how does this program compare to what federal law enforcement agencies do? Do some of the tactics used by local cops simply make people feel safer, or do they really help keep the city safe?

Originally Broadcast on 12/16/05
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