Walter B. Levis
Fight Racism, Improve Policing: Volunteer with the NYPD
From one progressive to another—listen up, here’s what I want you to do: put on a police uniform. That’s it. That’s my message.
I’ll explain—first, I’m not a cop. And I’m not saying you should become a cop. I’m a civilian. I work as a high school teacher in New York City. And I’m a 60-year-old straight white man with no disabilities. I tell you this upfront because I don’t want you to be distracted wondering about my “social identifiers.” I just want you to focus on what I do and why I do it. And then I want you to do it too. I’m talking about being “antiracist” and being real about it.
So here’s what I do: I volunteer as an auxiliary police officer (APO) in the NYPD. Almost every police department in the country has an Auxiliary Unit. In New York City, the Auxiliary Police assist with patrol, traffic, and crowd control at public events. We do not investigate crimes. We do not carry guns. Our uniforms are identical to the “real” police except for a small patch and the shape of our badge. Ninety percent of civilians don’t notice the difference. (That’s my estimate; nobody’s ever researched it.) In our eighteen-week training course, we learn about penal law, police science, bias awareness, radio use, defensive tactics, unarmed self-defense, self-defense with a straight wood baton, chemical training, first aid, handcuffing techniques, and arrest procedures. We are permitted to make an arrest only for crimes committed in our presence. We wear a protective vest and carry handcuffs and a baton, but our lifeline is the radio. As the slogan goes, we are the “eyes and ears” of the NYPD, expanding its presence.
But here’s the heart of the matter, why you should serve as an auxiliary officer if you care about fighting racism and improving policing: we interact directly with the public. As cops. Yes, we are unarmed civilians, but when we are in uniform, we are part of the police. During every “tour” (police jargon for a shift), we have the opportunity to close the gap—the gaping hole—between the police and civilians. We are a bridge between two worlds.
And these worlds misunderstand each other so entirely that—well, the exact nature of the misunderstanding is itself almost impossible to understand. I’ll quote a couple of famous writers here, both of whom are themselves from completely different worlds. George Bernard Shaw once wrote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” And here’s Zora Neale Hurston from her book Their Eyes Were Watching God: “It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.” As an APO in the NYPD, I have experienced firsthand the problem these writers are describing.
And here’s what I have learned: 1) most civilians have no clue how the “police world” works; 2) most cops agree the “police world” is broken; and 3) most civilians and most cops want to work together to make things better—for everyone.
As an auxiliary cop, I work about one four-hour shift per week (more if I have time), and when I report to my local precinct, seeing the day-to-day operations, I’ve seen how busy it is, calls coming in constantly. Then, with a little research, I’ve learned that the NYPD receives about six-and-a-half million “calls for service” per year. These are “radio runs.” It’s about 90% of all police work—somebody calls the cops. The other 10% involves investigations. Very rarely, a cop just rolls up on a crime-in-progress. The most recent data, from 2019, puts the total number of radio dispatches in all five boroughs at 6.4 million. That’s an average of 17,534 calls each day. Now consider this: the total number of NYPD uniformed cops in 2019 was 36,397.1 This doesn’t include the 5,000 auxiliaries—we don’t respond to radio calls unless a regular officer specifically asks us to help. Of those 6.4 million calls being answered by over 36,000 cops, the police were involved in a total of 52 “firearms discharge incidents.”2 That’s the technical term for a cop firing a gun. Slow down and take that in: 52 out of 6.4 million. That means when a civilian calls the police in New York City, more than 99.9% of the time, nobody gets shot. It also means that if Hollywood cop shows were realistic—fuggedabout, it would be some yawntastic-vanilla-bland-bunk-TV. Police work—let’s keep it real here—is not about shooting people.
But I know what you’re thinking: these stats come from the police, right? You’re saying, “The NYPD is simply hiding the real numbers.” Even if you don’t believe the NYPD’s “annual firearms discharge incident report,” you can’t hide bodies. People who get shot end up in hospitals—or, worse, morgues. And these people have families, and these places keep records, and journalists (I used to earn a living as one) love to write about violence. So let’s go back to the numbers and look more closely. In 2019, out of those 6.4 million calls for help, 24 people were shot by the NYPD, and 11 died.3 Not to diminish the value of each and every human life—and each and every police shooting must be carefully scrutinized—but if you want to be antiracist, you need to scrutinize another number too: in 2019, New York City’s five boroughs had 909 shooting victims (defined as “someone struck by a bullet”). The racial breakdown of those victims: 71% Black; 24% Hispanic; 3% white; and 2% Asian/other. Put another way, 863 Blacks and Hispanics were shot in 2019.4 This is a horror. This is a nightmare. But it’s not the police doing the shooting. Other people are shooting Blacks and Latinos. In fact, the breakdown of identified shooting suspects for 2019 shootings goes like this: 75% Black; 22% Hispanic; 2% white; and 1% Asian/other.5
Overall the story of these numbers is not that New York City has an overwhelming police problem, particularly in minority communities; the story of these numbers is that minority communities have an overwhelming crime problem. Put crudely, a Black or Hispanic is far more likely to be shot by another Black or Hispanic than by the police. Now, is the root of that problem racism? Yes. Our country has racism deep in its roots, including its economic roots. So let’s fight racism—but let’s do it effectively. Hating on the police might make you feel good about yourself, but does it really help? It’s easy for “progressives” (and I consider myself one) to feel morally superior because “we have the right opinions.” We confidently support reforming the criminal justice system, and revising educational curriculums, and taking down the Confederate statues, and getting offensive images like Aunt Jemima off the label. Also, we make sure our white relatives watch what they say at Thanksgiving about Native Americans. Okay, fine. All that is important. But to my fellow social justice warriors, here’s my challenge: I want you to get off your asses! I want you on the streets—in uniform.
And let’s keep the big picture in mind, the overview, the context. Of the 52 incidents in which police fired their guns, 25 involved a suspected criminal; six were during animal attacks; eight were unintentional discharges in which no one was injured; nine were police suicides; and four were attempted suicide.6
So why do so many civilians believe cops go around shooting people? Well, look at this headline from an article in the Wall Street Journal on November 11th, 2019:7
NYPD Officers Fired Weapons More Often in 2019,
With More Injuries and Deaths
First, let’s note that the Wall Street Journal is not exactly a “progressive” publication. In fact, most people probably think it’s “pro-police.” But if you read nothing but that headline, what conclusion would you reach? Maybe something like, “Well, there go the cops again, out of control, shooting people all the time, and it’s getting worse.” If you read further into the article, you’ll learn that police shootings for 2019 are, in fact, up 83%. Holy cow! An 83% increase? But wait, there’s more. The article goes on to say: “The rise in shootings by police comes during a period of historically low crime in New York City…” And now you think, “Oh, my Lord, crime is going down, but police shootings are going up? Those cops must be absolutely evil!”
And if you put the article away now, it would perfectly illustrate George Bernard Shaw’s point: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
However, a more careful reading of the article, combined with some independent critical thinking, would allow for the possibility of genuine communication. In fact, toward the end of the article, the writer (whose name, race, etc., really don’t matter here) explains more fully.
The total number to date of “adversarial shootings” (defined as officers intentionally firing their weapons at suspects) increased from 12 to 22. But the number of shooting incidents also increased. Huh? I thought crime was down. Oh, overall crime was down—but shootings were up. Hmmm. Let’s see what the last two paragraphs say: 670 shooting incidents were recorded between January 1 and November 1 in 2019, compared with 641 shootings in the same period in 2018. So…looking at the worst possible statistic, police responded to a shooting 670 times, and they fired their weapons 22 times. Put another way, 97% of the time that police respond to shootings, they don’t fire their own weapons at all. And looking even more closely, in 2019 there were 3,299 gun arrests. This means more than 99% of the time, the police arrested someone without firing a shot, even though the person they were arresting did, indeed, have a gun. Add gun arrests to the 64,302 radio calls involving weapons, and it means more than 99.9% of the time police go into a situation with armed individuals and do not fire their guns. So should the headline read: POLICE FACE DANGER WITH CONSISTENT RESTRAINT…? And keep in mind all the other calls that don’t involve weapons or guns but are merely (note my italics) robberies, assaults, domestic violence incidents, or just ordinary fistfights.
Bottom line: the Wall Street Journal headline distorts the reality of police-civilian interactions, a distortion that brings to mind what Zora Neale Hurston was talking about: a frightening misunderstanding.
And this frightening misunderstanding runs in another direction too. I want to talk now particularly to white people. Many whites are unconsciously racist about so-called “dangerous neighborhoods.” Here’s what I mean: the residents, mostly Black and brown people, living, for example, in zip code 10451 (the South Bronx) are eight times more likely to be “justice involved” than the mostly white people living, for example, in zip code 10007 (Tribeca, New York City’s richest area).8 The term “justice involved” refers to a relatively new measurement that includes both perpetrators and victims of crime.9 It’s becoming more widely used, particularly by those studying mass incarceration and crime demographics overall. Now, many white people think about the South Bronx and say, “Oooh, better get right home after that Yankee game.” But do some critical thinking; look hard at the crime stats by zip code. The ugliest number of them all says that in 2019, there were 5.4 victims of felony assaults per 1,000 residents in the South Bronx “high crime zip code” compared to 1.4 victims in the Tribeca “low crime zip code.”10 But this means more than 99% of the people living in the South Bronx are not victims. Yeah, sure, if you live in 10451, you are more likely than not to be a Black or brown person—but that doesn’t mean you are “justice involved,” either a criminal or a crime victim. Talk about racism! In fact, when “conservatives” (of all races) talk about “Black-on-Black crime,” they are confusing race and class. Demographics versus economics. Middle-class Blacks and Latinos living in Tribeca are not shooting each other or “justice involved” in some way that suggests a racial problem. The problem is minority neighborhoods that lack resources are stuck in a cycle of poverty and suffering. What’s the “root” of that? Is it race? Yes. Is it economics? Yes. Yes to both! The distinction is academic. Instead of a debate that’s endlessly divisive, let’s just fix it. And speaking of divisiveness, I’d like to challenge the revolutionaries who are ready to blow up the whole system. I ask: How radical do we really need to be? Here’s an idea: nobody inherits money; nobody owns two homes. Boom—society changed. A crazy policy idea? Sure, but policy is something we can discuss and argue and debate. So… “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah).
The larger point is this: If you join the Auxiliary Police and put on a uniform and start seeing how the police world really works, and then you begin looking at the real volume of interactions between police and civilians, you will know much more than the average civilian who does nothing but glance briefly at the Wall Street Journal. And, finally, your increased understanding will make you a better antiracist activist pushing for systemic change.
And we need change. The “police world,” i.e., justice system, is, indeed, broken. In fact, most cops I’ve talked to (and when you’re an auxiliary cop, they’ll actually talk to you) would say the system is “totally fucked.”
For example, listen to these cops:
“I’ve arrested the same guy over fifty times. Shoplifting, drugs, weapons—sometimes the guy’s out the same day. Somebody higher up the food chain in his world posts bail—and he’s back on the street.”
“Whenever another agency doesn’t do its job—they say, ‘Give it to the cops.’ A good example: laws about street vendors. That’s the Health Department. They give out the permits, but they don’t follow up. The permit says it’s illegal to sell food in the subways. Okay, fine, now before you know it, the lady selling churros is getting arrested. Is she breaking the law? Yeah, sure, technically. But who wants her in handcuffs? Some supervisor who needs to show arrests are up?”
“Wanna reduce the number of police? Legalize drugs and the next day you could send home half the cops on the force. ”
“I’m not a social worker or a marital counselor, but that’s what you need on a DVI (domestic violence incident). Instead, as a cop, it’s a mandatory arrest. No discretion. If I show up and there are injuries, threat of future harm, a history of DV—I can’t ask the victim, ‘Do you want the abuser arrested? Do you want to press charges?’ In fact, even if the victim specifically asks me not to make an arrest, I’m required to do so. Moreover, if the abuser has left the scene before I got there—I’m supposed to go find him and still make the arrest. Now I’m driving around looking for someone who ‘fits the description.’ Sure, I understand the good intentions behind the mandatory arrest. The idea is to protect the battered spouse. If you give a cop discretion, he might side with an abusive husband. But, bottom line, these people have a relationship problem—they’re not criminals. I’m a cop. I’m trained in law enforcement, not psychotherapy.”
“You want to talk about what’s fucked? You gotta understand the courts. Only about 1% of all felonies go to trial. Citywide, in recent years, there are an average of about 200,000 adults arrested for felonies, with only about 2,000 of those cases resolved by a judge or jury. The majority of defendants plea bargain. Judges like it because their docket is so overcrowded. Prosecutors like it because they want to focus on the biggest, most juicy cases. And defendants like it because they escape the more serious consequences of their crime. They accept a lesser charge and go on their way. But is the public served? Is it justice? The longer I’m on the job, the more I understand: it ain’t about justice.”
“Are there corrupt cops? Absolutely. I hate the fuckers because they make my job impossible. They should go to jail. But there are corrupt lawyers and judges too. They fly under the radar, but they are a big part of the problem. And corrupt politicians—? Don’t get me started.”
And the complaints go on and on. Many of them are, in fact, self-serving. Cops blaming somebody else for the difficult job they often have to do. But there’s an important truth to acknowledge: We ask the police to perform a bizarre array of functions. Again, as an auxiliary, you will learn about stories that never make it into the news. One of my favorites is from a cop who had responded to a radio call, “10-53, domestic dispute, parent arguing with his son.”
Turns out the son refused to come out of the bathroom.
“Hmm,” I asked the cop. “Can’t the dispatcher just ignore some of these calls?”
The cop shook his head. “What if that kid in the bathroom committed suicide?”
Ah, right, another one of the 6.4 million “calls for help.”
“So what did you do?” I asked.
The cop shrugged. “When I got inside the apartment, I got the kid to open the bathroom door a crack, and we made eye contact, and I talked to him. He started trying to explain the argument, what he and his father had been disagreeing about—I don’t even remember what. I told the dad, ‘Look, can you use the neighbor’s john if you gotta go?’ But that wasn’t even the point. Whole thing was goofy, but bottom line—we all talked for a while and everybody respected the uniform and it worked out.”
As it usually does. And that’s one of my main points. The overwhelming majority of police-civilian interactions “work out.” Most people do, indeed, respect the uniform. If you volunteer as an auxiliary cop, you will experience that respect firsthand, and you will have a chance to reinforce the respect by being polite and respectful yourself. For example, not long ago I was called to help out at a crime scene of a shooting. This is one of the few things television shows get right. Yes, there’s yellow tape and, yes, there’s a lot of pressure not to touch anything, and, yes, there are a lot of self-important detectives standing around looking—well, self-important. (Many patrol cops do not like the “defectives.” I guess I have absorbed the bias.) Anyway, the complication here—and opportunity to do some good as an auxiliary cop—involved guarding the crime scene. The whole block was taped off. The shooting took place in the afternoon on the street in front of a bunch of row houses and apartment buildings. As evening came many residents started returning from work. They lived on the block. To get home they needed to go “inside” the crime scene. Our job: hold up the yellow tape and walk them to their apartment, assuring that they don’t disturb any potential evidence. A trivial task, no doubt. But in four hours of half-block conversations with the dozens of residents whom I walked to their doors, not a single one of them identified me as a volunteer auxiliary officer. To them, I was an NYPD cop. Polite, respectful, and trying to help. What difference did I make? Who really knows, but this crime scene happened to be in a low-income neighborhood of the Bronx. So picture this: a law-abiding Black or brown civilian walks half a block with a polite, respectful cop. Is this “systemic change”? No. But “systemic change” to improve things for tomorrow and a concrete action to make things better today are not mutually exclusive—let’s do both. Also, for some of these citizens, that short walk with me will be the only contact they ever have with “the police.” And that’s mostly what they see: the uniform. Sure, some folks note that I’m a gray-haired white guy old enough to be their father (there’s no age limit for auxiliaries); or maybe the uniform is being worn by an attractive young female (you can start at eighteen) who clearly doesn’t “fit” into the stereotype of their neighborhood; or, rather, the APO is a Spanish-speaking, dark-skinned fellow who might be “Black” or Dominican; or an Asian person who… You get the idea.
In addition to a positive moment like walking civilians through a crime scene, you’ll experience something else if you volunteer as an auxiliary cop: how it feels to be hated. Let me again invoke the great Black novelist Zora Neale Hurston. (Her book Their Eyes Were Watching God is part of my school’s ninth grade English curriculum.) “It was not death she feared. It was misunderstanding.” Indeed, it’s a frightening misunderstanding to be hated when all you’re doing is wearing a police uniform and trying to help.
So far, in my four years of service, I have faced this hate only once, and it made me fear for my life. Okay, wait—I can see the regular cops I know rolling their eyes. “You feared for your life as an auxiliary? Gimme a break, you guys aren’t fighting crime. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about!” Maybe I overstate the danger. But I was pretty scared. Here’s what happened:
A Bronx neighborhood had seen a spike in crime, including robberies, assaults, and auto thefts. As part of its neighborhood policing efforts, for several warm summer nights in a row, the Borough Command flooded the area with hundreds of auxiliaries to increase police presence and to hand out flyers encouraging citizens to take extra safety measures. The advice included things like: “Avoid Auto Theft: Do not leave your car unattended and unlocked with the key in the ignition and the engine running.” Cops love making fun of these flyers. To them, this advice falls into the category of: “Duhhhh! You wouldn’t leave $20,000 in cash sitting by itself on the curb, so why are you leaving your car like that?” But, in fact, many of the cars had been stolen after the owner hopped out for a quick stop but left the door unlocked and the engine running. With crimes like this, little wonder cops are accused of “blaming the victim.”
But the flyer also included advice about several other personal safety issues, including what to do if you suspect you’re being followed, or if a stranger approaches as you’re closing the lobby door of your apartment building, or if you feel uncomfortable getting into an elevator. Our task as auxiliaries was simple: stand on the corner and pass out the flyer.
We worked in pairs and, as I expected, most people who walked by took the flyer with a nod, and we exchanged some kind of pleasantry. A couple of hours passed. My partner and I stood there “on post.” Occasionally we spotted a “sector car,” i.e., one of the regular police driving around. Whenever auxiliaries are out on the street, the regular cops are nearby. But, believe me, it’s not because they love auxiliaries. In fact, it’s safe to say many cops hate auxiliaries. Okay, “hate” might be a little strong, but there are a couple of different reasons for cops to dislike auxiliaries. First, in general, we do all the easy stuff—block parties, parades, etc. The idea is to free up the regular cops to do the hard stuff—i.e., fight crime. But if you’re a lazy cop who is just ticking off the years waiting to get that pension and move to Florida—well, you like the easy stuff. Why risk your life going into a dangerous situation if you could do your eight hours standing around at a parade? Or maybe there’s some good overtime handing out flyers? The fucking auxiliaries are taking money out of your pocket!
In addition to these reasons, many cops don’t like auxiliaries because we’re a liability. If we get into a conflict with a civilian, or we do any number of things that might make the department look bad—the mess will splash back onto a supervisor. Especially if we get hurt. Even if we are breaking up a fight or genuinely helping in some way—no desk sergeant wants an auxiliary injured on his watch. Are you kidding? You can’t even keep this volunteer citizen safe?
In fairness to the cops, however, I have to admit that some auxiliaries are, in fact, a problem. They have watched too much TV. They want “action.” They think they’re wearing a red cape and blue tights. Fortunately, most of these folks last only a few months in the program. They’re driven away by the sheer boredom of merely helping people.
But that night passing out those flyers, my boredom quickly vanished when a group of nine teenage boys (I counted—observational skills, part of the training) approached my partner and me, and one of them (male, Black, six feet, skinny, wearing a white T-shirt, red gym shorts, dark sneakers) stood in the center of the pack and looked me straight in the eye, and then said, “Fuck the police.” He took a quick breath, then glanced at my badge and went on. “And you them auxiliaries. You don’t even have a mothafuckin’ gun, do you?”
I tried to take a step back, but in the last hour or so, my partner and I had gotten lazy and drifted away from the wall of the bank at the corner. Keeping your back to a wall means nobody can get behind you. We’d lost that tactical advantage. The group had quickly surrounded us.
“That’s right,” I said, “auxiliaries. We’re just here trying to help out the community, handing out these flyers.”
Absurdly, I offered him one. He didn’t take it. Instead, he cocked his head and looked me up and down.
“Damn,” he went on, “all you got is that little stick?” He pointed to my baton. “They let you out here with just that?”
“Hey, not every cop needs a gun,” I said, going for a light tone.
“Fuck you, son,” he answered in a slow, clear voice. “I ought to take that mothafuckin’ stick and shove it up your ass.”
He took another step toward me. His gang (and I use the term intentionally but loosely) closed in too. I put up my hand. “Back up,” I said, and felt a panic come over me. From the corner of my eye, I saw that my partner—a Black man—was moving farther from me as three of the teens stepped closer to him, separating us. Then they began shadowboxing, throwing fake punches not exactly at my partner’s face but in his general direction. They were nowhere near hitting him, gestures intended only to provoke and intimidate. My partner was just standing there stiffly, his hands lifted chest high, his head turning side to side. Later, he explained that he was looking around for a sector car.
“Listen,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady, “we’re just here trying to help the community. We’re just passing out these flyers. So let’s not make a problem when we don’t have one.” And as I spoke I realized that my training had kicked in—I was holding my police radio. I don’t remember taking it off my duty belt, but there it was, inches from my mouth, with my thumb cocked ready to activate it. And I heard the mantra: know your location.
The kid in the white T-shirt, the leader, as I’d come to think of him, just looked at me. Then he inched forward, his buddies flanking his shoulders. I noted his hands. No weapon, but fists clenched. Our eyes met. “Hey, I’m serious, my man,” I said in a low tone. “If I have to use this radio, the boys with the toys will be here in like two minutes—and, believe me, they’ll be pissed.”
“Fuck the police,” he answered quickly. “Two minutes long enough to kick your mothafuckin’ ass.”
My heart was pounding. I remember thinking of the codes: 10-85 is a request for backup. 10-13 is the ultimate. It’s the call for shots fired, or when an officer’s life is in danger. It basically means, oh shit, help! But, from an auxiliary, putting either code “over the air” would bring the cavalry.
As the silence lengthened I remember hearing the wail of a very distant siren and thinking it sounded like a woman’s faraway scream. Also, I recall that I was standing way too close to this group of teenage boys. I could smell them—a faint, salty, masculine odor. This marked an utter failure on my part to observe one of the fundamental rules of my training: distance equals safety.
Then the teenager spoke again. “Boys with the toys.” He shook his head, lowering his gaze. “Fuck the police. You a mothafuckin’ pussy, you know that? But I’m givin’ your ass a pass this time cuz my girl’s waiting on me…”
At the mention of his “girl,” a couple of his friends laughed, reducing the tension further. One of them said something about not getting his shirt dirty with my blood. Then he turned away, the others followed, and it was over.
It could have been worse, much worse, and I don’t delude myself into thinking that I helped bridge any understanding that night. No, this was an ugly police-civilian interaction. And how many of these occur every day? I don’t think there are stats for this, although as the entire justice system comes under closer scrutiny, it might be an area for further research. Why did it happen? What suffering does this group of teenagers carry around inside themselves? What made that kid want to get in my face and say, “Fuck the police”?
We all know the answer, right? Racism and bad policing. Okay, let’s leave it at that. Let’s ignore economic inequality and the failing schools and the troubled healthcare system and the fact that 75% of African-American children are born out of wedlock.11 Let’s stick to racism and bad policing. And let’s call those things more than isolated problems but systemic failures. In fact, since in addition to any of my other social identifiers I happen to be a person of faith, let’s use the word “evil.” Let’s say racism is “evil.” Bad police are “evil.” So how do we fight evil?
Well, I’m no prophet. My name’s not Balthazar, Gaspar, or Melchior (the Three Wise Men). But I do have an idea, a plan, something I want you to do: meet “evil” with “goodness.” Look hard at the misunderstood stats, pay attention to the distorted headlines, and then put on a uniform and go into the streets to create the conditions for a civilian to experience a cop as polite and respectful.
Be an antiracist progressive and improve policing: volunteer to serve as an APO.
All NYPD data regarding use of force is publicly available at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/nypd/downloads/pdf/use-of-force/use-of-force-2019-2020-11-03.pdf. Most large police departments produce a similar document.
1. 2019 NYPD Use-of-Force Report. 24
2. Ibid., 16.
3. Ibid., 24.
4. Ibid., 29.
6. Ibid., 7.
7. Ben Chapman, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 11, 2019. https://www.wsj.com/articles/nypd-officers-fire-weapons-more-often-in-2019-with-more-injuries-and-deaths-11573491180#:~:text=rise%20this%20year.-,Mr.,the%20same%20period%20in%202018.
8. Crime comparison by zip code in NYC: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/stats/crime-statistics/borough-and-precinct-crime-stats.page
10. Crime comparison by zip code in NYC: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nypd/stats/crime-statistics/borough-and-precinct-crime-stats.page
11. A distinction should be drawn between out-of-wedlock and fatherless, since some born out of wedlock are living with the fathers or have significant contact with them. The topic deserves a nuanced discussion of its own.