Dressed in a tan summer suit, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Dermot Shea takes his front-row center seat on May 14, 2015, to start the inquisition of Precincts 28, 44 and 75 in the Jack Maple CompStat Command Center, along with his partner-in-interrogation Chief of Department Jimmy O’Neill.
A team from the 28 in Harlem lines up across the long room at a podium under the gold printed quote from the late Jack Maple, the inventor of CompStat (short for Computer Statistics): “We will be relentless until New York is in fact the safest city in America.”
The room is lined with a dozen large-screen monitors mounted high on the walls. Every other screen displays the less-than-subtle “Cops matter,” and the others flash tweets from the various precincts. At this special gun-violence edition of CompStat, in response to a recent spate of shootings in the city, a tweet from the 68 brags about getting “murderous machinery” off the streets, and several precincts use the hashtag #onelessgun.
“I’d like to commend everyone for representing at Officer (Brian) Moore’s funeral. You showed the nation and the world what our cops mean to us. … I know sometimes you feel not appreciated,” Shea begins. The the screens flip over to crime stats and maps showing a shooting spike in Harlem’s 28th precinct, and the first of many mugshots of black male faces. “We need to get back to basics,” he says. “It’s the same damn people causing mayhem in New York City,” he says, echoing a conversation we’d had the day before, but with anger this time.