The Constantine Institute
Eirim chun mo ghniomh a chriochnu





Terry O’Neill, Esq.


The Constantine Institute

102 Willett Street

Albany, New York 12210




In 1960, the year that Tom Constantine was sworn in as an Erie County Sheriff's Deputy, New York became the first state in the nation to require newly-appointed municipal police officers to complete a basic training program. In that era, major procedural decisions by the United States Supreme Court had begun the development of a core of sophisticated professional knowledge that every police officer would have to gain. In 1978, another decision of that court, Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, imposed civil liability upon municipal governments for violations of federally protected rights of persons by their officers and employees. That, in turn, drove investment in better selection, training, supervision and administration of public safety officers. Needless to say, these constitutional, legal and, more recently, ethical developments have done much to turn modern policing into a true profession. But so has science, technology, concepts of modern management and a growing understanding of the causes of crime and the best strategies for controlling it.

I've encountered a number of very compelling concepts in the field of public safety that have emerged over the past twenty-five years. Community policing in particular caught my attention around 1990. Its core idea of a partnership between the community and the public safety agencies that serve and protect it had many possibilities and was endlessly adaptable to different communities and to evolving conditions and challenges. 

Unfortunately, the greater acceptance of this concept has been stymied by the widespread influence of a kind of statistics-driven, technology-based policing made popular under the administration of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the mid-1990s. The popularity of this mode of enforcement has effectively driven police agencies apart from the communities they serve. Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealafeld, III has noted that we have turned police cars into rolling high-tech offices. Unfortunately, he says, officers have become unwilling to get out of the “office” and interact with the public on the street. We've seen it here in Albany where, in every neighborhood, people are concerned about the threat of crime that they daily perceive while City Hall and the Albany Police Department are forever showing us statistics that tell us crime is down. That is not what the public wants. In every neighborhood, I hear people asking for the return of the beat cop, the iconic epitome of community policing.

Community policing has never been about numbers, which are meaningful mostly to people who build and defend budgets or write or evaluate grant proposals. Real community policing is about partnership, participation and reduction of public fear of crime. Most of all, it is a continuing and dynamic process, a dialog, between the protectors and the protected.

And that process is getting a boost nationally as Chief Michael J. Carroll of West Goshen Township, PA takes office as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), a nonprofit, 106-year-old organization that promotes professionalism in global policing.

Carroll has stated that a top priority for the organization will be to reemphasize personal contact in policing. He contends that because personal contact has decreased, the tremendous advances in resources such as DNA and fingerprint databases have not led to an increase in solving crimes. “We’ve emphasized technology and deemphasized personal partnerships,” says Carroll. “Some police departments now have community-policing units. We need the whole department to be community-oriented.”

I learned about community policing in the field, working with communities in conflict and their public safety agencies to reinvent the relationship between the two as a primary means of easing, if not ending conflict. I will describe what I experienced in two of them.

Policing strategy is, however, a very dynamic and rapidly evolving field. Along with community policing, there are several other emerging concepts.

Community Policing is a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.

Statistics-driven Policing includes Compstat and Operation IMPACT. Sometimes characterized as “cops on the dots”, it deploys police resources based on real-time incidences and locations of criminal activity.

Problem-solving Policing involves the identification and analysis of specific crime and disorder problems in order to develop effective response strategies in conjunction with ongoing assessment. It encourages initiative on the part of officers.

Intelligence-led Policing is a policing model that is built around risk assessment and risk management. Analysis of information gathered from the community helps to identify criminally inclined individuals, groups and organizations and to design tactics to neutralize them.

Victim Responsive Policing is an emerging concept that has been promoted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Where this philosophy has been embraced, every sworn and non-sworn law enforcement employee plays a key role in enhancing response to victims. One could call it the Hippocratic Oath approach -- First, do no harm to the victim.

Values Based Policing is a results- driven philosophy that minimizes an organization’s process while emphasizing outcomes. It integrates the core beliefs of an organization into every aspect of its operations. Values Based Policing allows an employee to be driven by “what is right” instead of “what is in writing”.

Predictive Policing is a relatively unformed new law enforcement concept that integrates approaches such as crime analysis, crime fighting technology, intelligence-lead policing and more to inform forward thinking crime prevention strategies and tactics.

There is currently a nationwide search underway in Albany for a successor to recently-retired Albany Police Department Chief James Tuffey. A candidate put forward by the Mayor will, for the first time, be subject to approval by the Common Council. This should be treated as an opportunity to select a new leader for the APD who will take our police department in the progressive direction we want it to go. People increasingly know about and are demanding community policing in Albany. I would go further because I believe that new leadership of our police department, in partnership with the community, can bring to Albany a comprehensive and distinctive public safety strategy synthesizing progressive community, problem-solving, intelligence-led, victim responsive, values-based and predictive policing along with renewed community-based crime prevention efforts focused on neighborhood preservation and renewal.


Communal violence that broke out on the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation on the New York-Canadian border in May 1990 gave me my first and most intensive opportunity to work with a community toward the goal of implementing community policing. The precipitating issue was intense disagreement over casino gambling. The tribe, a community of some 20,000 souls, had no police agency of its own and did not want the State Troopers to be a continuing presence on the Reservation. Self-determination and cultural sovereignty are paramount to Native Americans. Most felt the State Troopers, who had had to be introduced in large numbers to secure public order, were detrimental to both.

We put together a working group of all interested parties, including law enforcement and Native affairs officials from New York, the US, Ontario, Quebec, Ottawa and the Mohawk tribal government. Meetings were open to the community and many took the opportunity to participate.  Our group spent two years intensively exploring options for the Mohawks and ways in which agencies of outside governments could support them in their creation of a viable indigenous police agency. In the summer of 1992, the Tribal Council appointed a Chief of Police. They have been on their own, with support and cooperation from the New York State Police, ever since.


In 2000, my colleague Tom Constantine was appointed by the British government to tackle the enormous problem of similarly bringing community accord to the long troubled province of Northern Ireland by means of a thorough reform of its police service. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), established in 1922, was to be reconstituted as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), a community police agency to serve about 1.2 million people living in several large cities, suburbs, small towns and rural areas.

In this instance, the RUC had become embroiled in the violent conflict between militant elements of a Protestant/Unionist majority and a Catholic/Nationalist minority. This conflict persisted for more than three decades. Some 5,000 people were killed in that period. Very few Catholics served in the RUC. The agency itself was widely perceived among Catholics to be in league with the violent Protestant/Unionist paramilitaries. The RUC's ability to participate in any communal reconciliation was irreparably compromised.

In 1998, a huge car bomb exploded in the tiny village of Omagh, killing some thirty innocent citizens. This atrocity finally got the British government to launch a concerted effort to end the sectarian violence. A complete reorganization of the RUC was at the top of the agenda. The Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland was set up under former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten and charged with coming up with the plan. The Commission was to inquire into policing in Northern Ireland, consult widely, and make proposals for future policing structures and arrangements, including the police force composition, recruitment, training, culture, ethos and symbols. The aim of the proposals was to create a police service that would be effective, operate in partnership with the community, cooperate with the Garda Síochána and other police forces, and be accountable both to the law and the community which it was to serve.

The Patten Report called for the appointment of a neutral Oversight Commissioner to certify the progress of the implementation of the report’s recommendations and to advise Parliament on amendments to the law establishing the new Police Service of Northern Ireland. Tom Constantine accepted this appointment in May 2000 and held it for the next three and one half years. Mr. Constantine and his team held hearings and meetings across the province with all affected parties and issued regular reports on the progress of the implementation of the Patten reforms.

Community policing was, from the outset, the ultimate organizational goal of the new PSNI. To paraphrase the Patten Report, policing with the community would be the core function of the police service and the core function of every police station. Every neighborhood would have a dedicated policing team with lead responsibility for policing its area. Members of the policing team would serve at least three and preferably five years in the same neighborhood. They would wear their names clearly displayed on their uniforms. Their uniforms would also bear the name of the locality for which they are responsible. All probationary police officers would undertake the operational phases of their probationary training doing team policing in the community. Where practicable, policing teams would patrol on foot. Neighborhood policing teams would be empowered to determine their own local priorities and set their own objectives within a overall Annual Policing Plan and in consultation with community representatives.

After more than three decades of sectarian terrorist violence, life in Northern Ireland is as peaceful today as it has never been in over a generation. Great credit is due the PSNI and its organizational commitment to community policing.


Community policing or neighborhood policing is a policing strategy and philosophy based on the idea that community interaction and support can help control crime and reduce fear, with community members helping to identify suspects, detain vandals and bring problems to the attention of police. The elements of the neighborhood policing described above with respect to the PSNI sets forth its basic characteristics. Essentially, community policing is established when individual officers are assigned on a long-term basis to particular neighborhoods and encouraged to interact with the community to identify and solve problems that encourage crime and disorder.

A classic instance of community policing on a large scale was developed and implemented by criminologist David Kennedy and police in High Point, North Carolina in 2004. The objective was to combat open air drug markets and to reclaim neighborhoods. Kennedy's model is being replicated in cities throughout the country. It will certainly come to New York. It is called the Drug Market Initiative (DMI).

Under this initiative, a residential neighborhood experiencing an overt open-air illegal drug market is identified through citizen complaints, community input, police calls for service, surveillance, and crime data. Active sellers operating the drug market are identified. The police conduct a series of undercover operations making multiple controlled buys from these active dealers with the goal of breaking up the operation of the market. Drug sellers encountered are separated into two groups based on their criminal histories – higher risk offenders who have crimes of violence, weapons offenses, or deal in large volume and lower risk offenders who do not have crimes of violence in their histories.

Where the community comes in is when the DMI members bring in an “influential”, that is, a family member or close friend of one of the lower risk drug offenders. They are contacted by DMI members and requested to help encourage eligible offenders to take advantage of the DMI opportunity to positively change their life. The lower risk drug sellers are advised of their criminal behavior at a “Community Call-In” where both the penal consequences of drug dealing and its negative impact on the community are explained to the offender.  Offenders are given an opportunity to avoid prosecution by immediately ceasing their drug dealing and criminal activities. These lower risk sellers are offered community support and community-based social services help to assist them in redirecting their lives. Those sellers who refuse to stop their drug dealing are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The community and law enforcement partnership works together to prevent the return of the drug market and improve quality of life in the neighborhood.


Problem-solving policing relies on the identification of problems by rank-and-file officers. A typical definition of a problem would be repeated incidents occurring in a community with related characteristics (e.g., behavior, location, people, time) that concern both the community and the police. Under a traditional system, a patrol officer might answer repeated calls to a certain problem area or "hot spot" and deal only with each individual incident. The problem-solving approach encourages officers to discover the root cause of the problem and come up with ways of solving it. The goal is to find a cure for the ailment instead of merely treating the symptoms. The exploration of possible responses to a problem is handled by patrol officers. Once a problem is identified, officers are expected to work closely with community members to develop a solution, which can include a wide range of alternatives to arrest. These may focus on the offender, the community, the environment, outside agencies, or the need for some kind of mediation. Situations often demand that police and citizens fashion tailor-made responses to problems, so a high degree of importance is placed on creativity and discretion.

There has long been a pervasive problem in American policing that I have seen addressed with quite spectacular results. Because our police are constituted at many levels of government with overlapping jurisdiction and competing goals, interagency cooperation is not always what we might wish. The New York State Police (NYSP) considered this a problem to be solved. They did it with a program called the Community Narcotics Enforcement Teams (CNET). Drawing on its larger and more diverse workforce, the NYSP created units that could conduct intensive undercover investigations in high drug trafficking areas, identify all the drug dealers and, with county and municipal police, sweep those areas clean of drug activity. A CNET operation in Schenectady in November 1993 had such an impact that six years later, the district attorney ascribed a steep drop in rates of all categories of crime throughout his county over those years to that one operation.

The problem of interagency cooperation has also been addressed in the area of crime prevention. The Triad program, the nation’s leading crime prevention program targeting the elderly, is organized on the county level and encourages county and municipal police agencies to partner with agencies and organizations that serve and advocate for the elderly to more effectively address the needs and concerns of that population. In Albany County, District Attorney David Soares has taken the lead on this program under the title Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT). Triad’s flexibility and adaptability prompted me to seek a legislative mandate for the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to promote the program that was enacted as Chapter 111 of the Laws of 1993.


Intelligence-led policing is a strategic, future-oriented and targeted approach to crime control focusing upon the identification, analysis and management of persisting and developing problems or risks. In simpler terms, it is a model of policing in which intelligence serves as a guide to operations, rather than the reverse. It was an outcome of British efforts during the late 1990s to manage law enforcement resources efficiently and to respond effectively to serious crime. ILP is a relatively new concept in the United States.

It has been well-documented that a small minority of offenders commit a majority of crimes. It is also known that crime reports and service calls often cluster predominately at specific locations or narrow, easily-defined areas. The more intelligence that is gathered about these individuals and locations, the more effectively we can design strategies for suppressing them.

ILP does not replace the concepts of problem-solving policing or the community involvement and neighborhood maintenance theories of community policing. Rather, it builds on these concepts to keep pace with changes in society, technology and criminal behavior. Incorporating research findings and advances in information and communication technology, ILP encourages greater use of criminal intelligence, attends to offenders more than offenses, and offers a more targeted, forward-thinking, multi-jurisdictional and prevention point of view to the business of policing.

As such, successful adoption of ILP will generally involve the following practices:

Information collection is part of the organizational culture—led by the chief executive, supervisors, and managers encourage line officers and investigators to regularly collect and forward intelligence.

Analysis is indispensable to tactical and strategic planning—record management systems are robust, analysts are well-trained and equipped, actionable intelligence products are regularly produced to inform both tactical and strategic decisions.

Enforcement tactics are focused, prioritized by community harm assessments and prevention-oriented; operations are mounted against repeat or violent offenders; serious organized (gang, trafficking, etc.) groups are identified and dismantled; traffic violations are enforced at dangerous intersections or roadways.

Problem-solving principles, community norms, and neighborhood expectations of police service, and resources from other government, private, and faith-based organizations are regularly incorporated into law enforcement interventions.

One of the most memorable and ultimately productive instances of ILP that I have observed in New York was the six-year Cali Cartel investigation conducted by the New York State Police that culminated in 1991. In 1985, Mr. Constantine was Field Commander of the State Police. He had a celebrated habit of personally reading all daily reports filed by troops and special investigative units throughout the state. Certainly one of the stand-out incidents that was reported was the discovery that year of a large cocaine processing laboratory on an isolated farm in Minden, Montgomery County. The resulting investigation was consolidated with others that had been opened in different areas of the state that seemed to have a common thread. Constantine gave the investigative team the resources to conduct a long-term investigation under the designation KNEU 86055. Its result was that in 1991, the New York State Police exposed the whole operation of the Colombian cartel within the state of New York. Large quantities of cocaine were seized, millions of dollars in criminal assets forfeited and almost sixty operatives were arrested and convicted. This was a major first for a state police agency.

Consistent with Albany’s concern over youth violence, I’d point to a developing intelligence-led initiative currently underway in Chicago, which has a horrendous rate of youth homicide. Interestingly, it is not a police program. Chicago school superintendent Ron Huberman’s plan for stemming the violence is built not on guns or security guards but on statistics and probability. A former police officer and transit executive with a respect for data analysis, Mr. Huberman believes that the school system can systematically identify the students who are most at risk of becoming involved in future violence, either as perpetrators or as victims, by intensively studying past incidents.

With $60 million in federal stimulus grant money, Mr. Huberman’s plan uses a formula gleaned from an analysis of more than 500 students who were shot over the last several years to predict the characteristics of potential future victims, including when and where they might be attacked. While other big city school districts, including New York, have tried to focus security efforts on preventing violence, this plan would go further by identifying the most vulnerable students and saturating them with adult attention, including giving each of them a paid job and a local advocate who would be on call for support 24 hours a day.  There is certainly intelligence gained through this initiative that can help the Chicago Police Department deploy its resources to better protect at-risk students.

From the study of the 500 shootings, Mr. Huberman said, officials know that deadly violent outbursts are not truly random. The students at highest risk of violence, by statistics, are most likely to be black, male, without a stable living environment, in special education, skipping an20average of 42 percent of school days at neighborhood and alternative schools, and having a record of in-school behavioral flare-ups that is about eight times higher than the average student. Attacks have typically happened beyond a two-hour window from the start and end of school — that is, late at night or very early in the morning — and blocks away from school grounds, where neighborhood boundaries press against one another.


The recent case of Kyleal Avery in Albany leads me into the concept of victim responsive policing. Kyleal was killed on the evening of September 2 when a gun he and an 18-year-old relative were fooling around with discharged. Kyleal's extended family -- about 20 in number -- rushed to Albany Medical Center to learn whether it was indeed him and whether he was alive or dead. They were received with what the family perceived as cold, officious and insensitive treatment from medical personnel, hospital security and the Albany Police. In this case, an entire family was the victim of a violent death and, with respect to the APD, the policing they encountered was anything but victim responsive.

Most people understand that there are strict and necessary procedures that police must follow to secure crime scenes, collect and preserve evidence and otherwise ensure that the investigation of any crime proceeds effectively. Nonetheless, at the heart of every crime is the victim who suffers its trauma. The police should not exacerbate the victim’s pain.

Some years ago, Tom Constantine stated at a conference on leadership: “Courageous police leadership is critical to our most important client – the victims of crime." Being sensitive to the pain of victims is, indeed, courageous.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) took that to heart and is promoting a total victim responsiveness philosophy guiding every service law enforcement agencies provide in their communities. It is conceived as the next step in the evolution of true community policing. Although state laws define the rights and redress of victims of crime, very often these individuals are neglected in the criminal justice system. Historically, law enforcement has focused on the apprehension and prosecution of perpetrators. The enhanced response to victims strategy, however, developed and tested with law enforcement’s direct participation and input, is intended to assist America’s law enforcement community in embracing a philosophy that places crime victims’ interests and needs at the apex of response to crime and community problem-solving. In New York, Superintendent Harry Corbitt ordered State Police Troop F to be the first to field test the Victim Response Initiative.

Where this philosophy has been embraced, every sworn and non-sworn law enforcement employee plays a key role in enhancing response to victims at every stage of theagency  response to the crime. This effort is not simply the creation of a separate victim unit, but an integrated and inclusive effort that extends to all branches and levels of law enforcement.


Predictive policing is rooted in the notion that it is possible, through sophisticated computer analysis of information about previous crimes, to predict where and when crimes will occur. At universities and technology companies in the U.S. and abroad, scientists are working to develop computer programs that, in the most optimistic scenarios, could enable police to anticipate, and possibly prevent, many types of crime.

Some of the most ambitious work is being done at UCLA, where researchers are studying the ways criminals behave in urban settings.

One, who recently left UCLA to teach at Santa Clara University near San Jose is working to prove he can forecast the time and place of crimes using the same mathematical formulas that seismologists use to predict the distribution of aftershocks from an earthquake.

Another builds computer simulations of criminals roving through city neighborhoods in order to better understand why they tend to cluster in certain areas and how they disperse when police go looking for them.

"The naysayers want you to believe that humans are too complex and too random — that this sort of math can't be done," said Jeff Brantingham, a UCLA anthropologist who is helping to supervise the university's predictive policing project.

"But humans are not nearly as random as we think," he said. "In a sense, crime is just a physical process, and if you can explain how offenders move and how they mix with their victims, you can understand an incredible amount."

Predictive policing is far and away a more sophisticated tactic than the after-the-fact and reactive character of the CompStat model that has been so widely imitated since its debut in New York City in the mid-1990s.  We will be watching the LAPD experiment closely.



Values Based Policing will be the "next wave" of policing strategy, says Bernard Melekian, new director of the U.S. Justice Department's COPS Office. Director Melekian, who comes to COPS from the Pasadena Police Department, says the concept is "just getting its own traction." He explains that, "It is a focus on changing the question for police employees in general from `Can I do this?' to `Should I do this?' It's enormously powerful." Over a period of five years, Director Melekian developed the Pasadena Police Department into a national model for Values Based Policing. In his new role with COPS, he will strive to transform this concept into an industry standard for American policing.

Using a process, methodology, or procedure to arrive at a given outcome is a necessary instrument in every profession. Most private companies or public agencies expect their employees to utilize the organization’s established procedures to achieve the goals that have been set forth. For the most part, such processes consist of step-by-step instructions or proven methodologies used by others in the past and duplicated to achieve the same results. When the process becomes more important than reaching goals, employees merely address problems and strive for goals by placing them within the confines of the established process, and then hoping for success. Employees who utilize this method are not striving for anything more than involvement in the process rather than driving forward to accomplish vital goals.

Values Based Policing is a results driven philosophy that minimizes an organization’s process while emphasizing outcomes. It integrates the core beliefs of an organization into every aspect of its operations. It removes the process driven approach to solving problems and achieving goals and utilizes an organization’s values to drive decisions and outcomes. Values Based Policing allows an employee to be driven by “what is right” instead of “what is in writing”.

The rules and regulations of a law enforcement agency are important procedures that should be integral components of a Values Based Policing initiative. The agency's values, mission, and vision should be manifested in the rules and regulations that govern it. The policies and procedures and the rules and regulations set forth by an organization should never, however, completely govern nor blur the actions and decisions of employees. Under the philosophy of Values Based Policing, adhering to such policies becomes less meaningful than following the police department’s established set of values. This idea does not discount the importance of established policies and procedures. Instead, it creates an environment that emphasizes the importance of performing duties in accordance with the agency's value system. It demonstrates to the entire organization that words and deeds must always be aligned with the organization’s beliefs. It demonstrates to the public that the agency's values are the primary guideposts for decision making.

The principles of Values Based Policing enhance community policing. This is certainly true in that Values Based Policing offers community members a measuring stick to identify proper action by employees. Such a tool implemented in the community will develop greater public trust. It will allow police officers to be seen as “honorable” and “ethical” as long as these standards are consistently and openly applied. Values Based Policing is the proper “state of mind” for Community Policing to be effective. Values Based Policing is the next logical step following Community Policing.

Values Based Policing is rooted in the Police Officer’s Code of Ethics. This code was developed in 1957 by the San Diego Police Department and adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in 1963. Each law enforcement officer studies and learns the code of ethics. The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, along with Values Based Policing principles, serves as a moral, ethical, and professional manual; it describes the attributes that define the character of the organization and its commitment to the community. Values provide the basis for judgments about what is important for the organization to succeed in its core mission and goals. Law enforcement agencies that adopt Values Based Policing are committed to developing moral leaders and to maintaining a high standard of leadership - this commitment serves as the organizational compass in providing public safety services to the people of the community.

During Director Melekian's administration of the Pasadena Police Department, long-term plans were developed and executed to bring the organization's culture into full compliance with the principles of Values Based Policing. An essential part of that transformation was the development of a statement of principles that built upon the Police Officer's Code of Ethics. This statement is as follows:


Service is the foundation of the value system for this Police Department. The highest form of service is to protect the lives and property of one’s fellow human beings. Our city provides an exciting and diverse environment for personal and professional achievement. We recognize that the level of safety and well being enjoyed by our community will measure our effectiveness as public servants.


We have a continuing commitment to operational excellence that recognizes the process is as important as the product. We are refining the traditional role of the police employee to instill an attitude and behavior that focuses on people in a constructive and positive way.


This is an expressive phrase that embodies a state of mind, and an approach to delivering police services. In order to be truly effective we must express genuine concern, with conviction, that we are in the business of serving people. We recognize the dignity of all people and treat them accordingly.


Stopping crime before it occurs is our most important function. Identifying conditions that foster crime in our community and doing something about them is a joint police-community responsibility. Thinking about crime fighting is important but preventing crime is paramount.


This Police Department practices this value within the organization and in the community we serve. We are flexible in dealing with issues in an open and sensitive manner. However, we are committed to the consistent application of the law for the common good.


Delivering the best service or product possible is the ultimate goal for each employee of this Police Department. The effort that one undertakes to obtain such a standard is the most important aspect of this value. Police employees are expected to do the best possible job at all times.


Utilizing creativity to meet today’s challenges is vital for this Police Department to solve problems effectively. While having a consistent process to complete our daily tasks may be valuable in many circumstances, we do not serve this process. We must be willing to seek solutions that exist outside of our normal methodology in order to address the complexities of our era.


The police department will demonstrate through its actions an uncompromising allegiance to the core principles espoused within the Police Officer’s Code of Ethics. Every Police Department employee will embrace ideals such as honor, duty, courage, equality, fairness, and dignity.


Lanched recently -- with some confusion -- in Los Angeles, California, the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) hosted the Nation’s first symposium on Predictive Policing.  Predictive policing is a relatively new law enforcement concept that integrates approaches such as cutting-edge crime analysis, crime fighting technology, intelligence-lead policing and more to inform forward thinking crime prevention strategies and tactics.  

The Justice Department is supporting activities in a number of police departments nationwide, some of whom are participating in demonstration projects of specific predictive policing models.  A list of those projects is located, here (PDF).

Although we have made impressive gains in reducing crime over the last 10 years in this country, we still face unacceptable pockets of violent crime in some neighborhoods. This symposium was an important forum for bringing together researchers, practitioners, and leaders to develop and discuss the concept of predictive policing and its impact on crime and justice. Leading criminal justice policymakers and practitioners had the opportunity to explore current issues and the future of prediction in criminal justice. In addition, attendees discussed what Predictive Policing is, where it is being practiced, and what we can learn from those experiences to develop a concrete strategy that can be replicated across the country.

The 2½ -day workshop is a springboard for action and also marks the formation of the National Predictive Policing Advisory Group. Following the symposium, the group, comprised of police chiefs, federal law enforcement experts, criminal justice researchers, and national police organizations, will begin a national dialogue about Predictive Policing and its future in the criminal justice field.

Innovative strategies, such as Predictive Policing, can help us understand our communities better and make us better partners in carrying out the mission of the Department of Justice. This symposium will help us define for the field how we should be moving forward to meet the challenges of law enforcement in a new era.


There is a moribund statutory framework in New York to promote a type of community-based problem-solving that focuses on neighborhood preservation and renewal. In April 1983, Governor Mario Cuomo signed into law the Neighborhood Preservation Crime Prevention Act (NPCPA) (Chapter 55, Laws of 1983). It was intended to promote the creation of an infrastructure of community-based nonprofits that would partner with local police and other municipal agencies to preserve and renew neighborhoods and thereby reduce crime. The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) was charged with administering the NPCPA and tasked with providing technical assistance to the nonprofits encouraged by the program.

This forward-looking legislation was never implemented. In fact, early in the Cuomo administration, DCJS’ entire crime prevention program was terminated. Obviously, this program is a matter of state law and subject to the resources actually available to DCJS. But as neighborhood deterioration, specifically the abandoned building problem, is a major criminogenic problem in Albany, the city should call upon the state, if not to activate the NPCPA, at least to come up with a program that fully integrates neighborhood preservation into overall crime-fighting strategy.


If we are to have community policing, then the community must have something to say about how state and federal funding in support of public safety is spent. Currently, the state's premier local assistance program is Operation IMPACT, which purchases technology and funds enhanced police and prosecution activities in statistically defined IMPACT zones. Arbor Hill, West Hill and the South End are so designated in Albany. Many expenditures under this program would not have been priorities for civilian community crime prevention organizations. In addition, I have seen in my neighborhood the displacement of crime from IMPACT zones to non-IMPACT zones. Right across Madison Avenue, the Park South neighborhood enjoys permanently assigned beat cops paid for by Operation IMPACT. I have had a serious crime occur on my doorstep by persons who came out of and fled back to the IMPACT zone across the avenue.

Assemblywoman RoAnn Destitto, whose district includes the distressed city of Utica, asked me to help her address this problem. I drafted a bill for her -- Assembly Bill No. 1048 -- that would establish Community Justice Councils to draw up plans and priorities for spending state and federal monies that may become available for public safety purposes. Under our bill, any state funding for public safety would have to advance the priorities established by the Community Justice Council in a plan filed with DCJS. Community Justice Councils would include a broad spectrum of governmental and nongovernmental agencies and organizations with expertise to offer in developing an effective plan. Putting this bill in play will spark a debate about the things we are permitted to spend state money on. I think it’s high time we did that because I have yet to see an IMPACT zone anywhere in the state taken off the sick list. And it has been a long time since DCJS was in the community crime prevention business. To hark back to the heyday of a popular federal program, we've been too long all weed and no seed.


The state of law enforcement leadership has been very much on my mind in recent months. Our city of Albany is currently conducting a search for a new police chief, our sixth under the current Mayor. Members and friends of the family of the New York State Police were stung by the findings of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s recent report on the so-called “Troopergate” affair that raise questions about political interference with the administration at the highest levels of the leadership of our most respected police agency. In 2008, the long-time Chief of the Gloversville Police Department was abruptly ousted without explanation by a Mayor who has since been indicted of charges of election fraud.  And in Schenectady, Public Safety Commissioner Wayne Bennett is engaged in a historic effort to gain effective managerial control over a police agency that has become a byword for lack of management control, accountability and even outright criminality. From where I sit, we have quite a crisis on our hands.

With these things in mind and with the near universal dissatisfaction of the people in every neighborhood in Albany at the pace of adoption of true community policing, I investigated the status of the Law Enforcement Executive Institute, an executive development program of the highest professional and academic caliber that was implemented within the past five years. This initiative evolved out of work that Tom Constantine did a decade ago. Mr. Constantine is regarded as the personification of courageous, ethical and professional law enforcement leadership throughout the nation, if not the world. This program is his signature contribution to the quality and professionalism of New York law enforcement leadership. I was dismayed to learn that “budget constraints, etc” have curtailed this initiative.

The need to emphasize courageous and professional leadership in these tumultuous times cannot be overstated.  We must renew our commitment to the standard we set in developing the LEEI and making a priority of finding the resources to fully realize it.


It has been my ambition for twenty years now to make Albany a center for research and development of cutting-edge ideas in public safety, tackling problems ranging from youth gangs and street crime to transnational organized crime and terrorism. Albany has the resources, notably the New York State Police Academy, Albany Law School and the University at Albany School of Criminal Justice, to contribute to this institution. It can also serve as a focal point for connecting the city’s youth with the global career opportunities that have emerged virtually overnight in the areas of homeland security, disaster preparedness and private security.

We also possess a unique and untapped resource of great value in the New York State Police and Tom Constantine himself.

In 1957, the NYSP made history when it exposed the existence of organized crime in an incident known as the Apalachin organized crime meeting. That incident sparked a tremendous engagement on the part of the federal government and law enforcement agencies all over the nation to confront and combat what has today grown into a global network of criminal enterprises. The United Nations estimates that criminal organizations worldwide profit over $2 trillion a year, twice what all the nations on earth spend on their military budgets.

As related above, under Tom Constantine’s leadership, the operations of the Cali Cartel were exposed in New York in 1991. Four years later, as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Constantine presided over the dismantling of the cartel and the capture, sentencing and imprisonment of its leaders. The Cali Cartel is acknowledged to have been the largest and most powerful criminal conspiracy in history. An alumnus of our New York State Police took it down.

As further related above, Mr. Constantine, serving as Oversight Commissioner for reform of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, played a major role in ending more than three decades of terrorist violence in the British Isles by giving the people of the province a police service that is committed to the highest legal and ethical principals, excellence in professionalism and the philosophy of community policing. This is a remarkable achievement and it stands as a model of what needs to be achieved in many areas of the globe that do not have so trusted an institution to maintain public order.
This unique legacy of pioneering achievement is an asset of considerable unrealized value for purposes of developing a privately-funded endowment to support research, development, training and education in the struggle against transnational organized crime and terrorism.

The Constantine Institute will marshal the intellectual resources of our great state university system and serve as a focal point for research and deliberation on the control of transnational organized crime and terrorism. It will sponsor a diverse research program that will reflect a balance among the issues relating to legal, operational, social, political, and economic aspects of responding to these threats. It will organize conferences and symposia that will bring together the best minds among academics, law enforcement professionals, the military services, the intelligence community, lawmakers, the diplomatic corps and the business and financial community to develop strategies, tactics, relationships and legal and diplomatic frameworks for more effective international cooperation. Its ultimate goal is to be a valuable and practical resource for the world’s law enforcement agencies, governments and the international business community.

These are the reasons why people will come to Albany from around the world to share and develop ideas for confronting the greatest security threats of our time and to do so in a manner consistent with the high professional ideals of our respected New York State Police. And I would add that having a municipal police department in our city that is a model of the best and most progressive law enforcement practices would greatly enhance our prestige.


On April 11, 1917, Governor Charles Whitman signed Chapter 161 of the Laws of 1917 right here in Albany. This statute created the Department of State Police. Of course, we will be celebrating that centennial here in Albany and at troop headquarters and sites of significance in the history of the New York State Troopers all over the state that year. I have already begun laying plans to make the most of this occasion. Certainly, it will provide an opportunity to project the prestige of the State Police, but also of New York's pioneering history of achievement in advancing the best in policing. New programs, fundraising opportunities and public celebrations will attend this anniversary.

The process leading up to the New York State Police Centennial offers a framework for developing and carrying out a series of ambitious initiatives that will project the reputation and prestige, not only of the State Police, but of the institutions of higher learning with which Albany is so abundantly blessed and that have so much to offer in developing cutting-edge ideas in the field of public safety and creating for us something of a unique and branded industry here that will generate a brisk and continuing conference business and provide career connection opportunities for our young people.


Tom Constantine and Terry O'Neill with Albany High School Students