History of the NYPD

29 Mar 2016

On Tuesday, March 29, 2019, we were joined by speaker Patrick Lamson-Hall. His class explored the complicated history of law enforcement in New York City. From its origins in the Dutch night watch system, past the pugilistic and corrupt cops of the Tammany Hall era, through the sporadic attempts at reform, and into the current era of policing, learn about the mechanics of the police force and the politics that drive it.

The class also examined recent trends in crime and criminality: the sharp spike in crime from the 1960s to 1990s, followed by the sudden and unexpected reduction in crime in the 1990s and 2000s. This shift, only partially explained, means that we’re living in a city that is possibly safer than ever before, but has also left some communities shattered by the thirty-year long war on drugs, zero tolerance policies, and statistically driven policing tactics.

About the presenter Patrick Lamson-Hall is an urban planner and a research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. His research interests include urbanization in the developing world, alternative transportation, and public space. As part of his work at NYU, he manages the India Urban Expansion Observatory in Mumbai, India, along with the Ethiopia Urban Expansion Initiative, a project to prepare rapidly growing cities for their spatial growth. He hails from Portland, Oregon, and enjoys hiking, biking, and books.


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