1. How would you characterize the relationship between youth and the NYPD during the peak of the stop and frisk activity? 2.  “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.”  How effective will such...

1. How would you characterize the relationship between youth and the NYPD during the peak of the stop and frisk activity?

2.  “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING.”  How effective will such advertisements be when the NYPD is acting like an army of occupation?  

3.  How would you change:

     3a.) youth behavior?

     3b) police behavior?

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

During the 1990s, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton championed a "stop and frisk" policy that allowed police officers to stop and search people without having probable cause. Officers were allowed to stop civilians, question them, and search them for weapons or other contraband. During its heyday, this policy engendered a great deal of criticism, particularly because it was shown to inordinately target African-American and Latino people, even controlling for variations of crime rates among different demographic groups. In addition, research suggests that the policy did not result in crime reduction before it was curtailed. Overall, the policy caused distrust of the police among young people.  

"If you see something, say something" (a slogan that appears on posters in public places in New York City) may not be an effective way of clamping down on crime or suspicious activity if people do not trust the police. Civilians must believe that the police are on their side and attempting to protect them. This trust cannot exist if there is hostility towards the police among civilians. 

To improve the relations between youth and the police officers must attempt to help people in the community. For example, they can spend some of their time making sure parks are safe at night so that young people can play basketball or other games. The police can also be involved with getting to know young people in their neighborhoods and their families. If they do this, young people will be more likely to trust the police and share information with them that could help prevent crime. Perhaps you can think of other ways to improve the relationship between the police and young people in their communities.