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From counterterrorism to tracking criminals by satellite, Security gives an expert's tour of twenty-first-century law enforcement. Former NYPD commissioner Howard Safir reveals the tools, methods, and science that police officers use to reduce crime, and track and apprehend criminals, including surveillance, crime scene evidence, DNA profiling, narcotics, and quality-of-life enforcement.
With the dedication of 40,000 police officers, and using these tools, over the last four years of the Giuliani administration the NYPD under Safir was able to decrease the crime rate in New York City to a level not seen since the 1960s, with major crimes reduced by over a third and the murder rate cut almost in half. To illustrate the law enforcement successes in New York, Safir uses real-life crime stories to outline the tactics used by the Zodiac Killer; the investigation of Sante and Kenneth Kimes for the murder of socialite Irene Silverman; and the apprehension of the killers responsible for the massacre at a Wendy's in Queens. And Safir gives a behind-the-scenes look at some of the NYPD's more recent controversies, including the shooting of Amadou Diallo and the assault on Hatian immigrant Abner Louima.
But Security is more than a look into the inner workings of the NYPD. This book gives valuable insight into how methods of law enforcement are needed to prevent terrorism (drawing on the NYPD's experience catching two potential subway bombers), to protect our homeland (with a precise look at the USA Patriot Act and biometric technologies), and to keep our streets and homes safe (from Safir's Model Block Program, to CompStat, to the controversial yet successful Street Crime Unit).
In these troubling times of terror warnings and high alert levels, Security is a clear-eyed look at police tactics and an important citizen's guide to the role that law enforcement - on all levels - plays in our daily lives.
Reading alternately like an official itemized report and a puffed-up r sum , this muddled book by former NYPD commissioner Safir sets out to offer an insider's tour of the cutting-edge law enforcement techniques that impressively reduced the crime rate in New York City. Although Safir covers a lot of ground, from the history of fingerprinting to computerized tracking of criminal patterns and the many applications of DNA analysis, his account is marred by cursory examination and sloppy writing. The book's real intention, apparently, is to put forward a thinly veiled defense of his management as commissioner from 1996 to 2000, but even as an apologia it offers almost nothing that has not already been said many times in his well-groomed public statements. Safir airs no dirty laundry, offers no personal information, entertains no ambiguity, skates over huge controversies (such as the Abner Louima and Amadou Diallo scandals, which received national attention) and admits to making no mistakes during his entire tenure as commissioner. He does, however, fill up many pages reminding readers of the exact percentage reductions in every criminal category in New York City under his leadership. This book should have been an important document, since Safir was, by many standards, an extremely successful commissioner and his personal and professional take on New York's success deserves to be heard; but as is, it's characterless and less than fully revealing.