NYPD Deputy Inspector Richard Brea

NYPD Deputy Inspector Richard Brea
A Bronx NYPD precinct commander is quitting in protest of how the department is handling police reform, The Post has learned.

Deputy Inspector Richard Brea is throwing in the towel after nearly three decades because he says his bosses are not giving him enough guidance on how to get guns and drugs off the street now that the department has disbanded and reassigned its anti-crime unit, according to people familiar with the matter.

Guardian Angels leader Curtis Sliwa confirmed Brea's retirement to The Post Thursday after speaking with the inspector, who leads the Bronx's 46th Precinct.

On Wednesday, the Captains Endowment Association, which represents Brea, sent a letter saying CompStat should be abolished because it pressured commanders to drum up arrests — or answer to angry bosses at monthly CompStat meetings.

Comment: CompStat is an infamous predictive policing tool used by NYPD and other police organizations.
Another criticism of the COMPSTAT program is that it may discourage officers from taking crime reports in order to create a false appearance of a reduction of community problems. According to journalist Radley Balko, "some recent reports from New York City suggest the program needs some tweaking to guard against the twin dangers of unnecessary police harassment and underreporting of serious crimes."An anonymous survey of "hundreds of retired high-ranking police officials . . . found that tremendous pressure to reduce crime, year after year, prompted some supervisors and precinct commanders to distort crime statistics."

Similarly, crimes may be reported but downplayed as less significant, to manipulate statistics. As an illustration, before a department begins using CompStat it might list 100 assaults as aggravated and 500 as simple assault. If there were a similar pattern of underlying criminal activity the next year, but instead 550 assaults are listed in CompStat as simple and 50 as aggravated, the system would report that progress had been made reducing major crimes when in fact, the only difference is in how they are reported.

Manipulating reporting data may also negatively affect personnel and financial disbursement; communities whose improvements (on paper) show they need less resources could lose those resources — and still face the same amount of actual crime on the streets.

Many of these negative effects in the possible weaknesses of the COMPSTAT system were dramatized in HBO's The Wire, as part of an overarching theme of systemic dysfunction in institutions.Indeed, "[o]ne of the central themes of the critically acclaimed HBO series . . . was the pressure politicians put on police brass, who then apply it to the department's middle management, to generate PR-friendly statistics about lowering crime and increasing arrests." In the show, this was referred to as "juking the stats".

The issue was further publicized in 2010 when NYPD officer Adrian Schoolcraft released recordings of his superiors urging him to manipulate data.

In 2014 Justice Quarterly published an article stating that there was statistical evidence of the NYPD manipulating CompStat data

Sliwa says Brea, who was due to present his numbers Thursday, told him: "I'll be more than happy to come to CompStat and get a beatdown but I'm not getting guidance."

In a call with Sliwa, Brea griped that the department wasn't giving him any guidance about what his officers should do with firework enforcement.

"How am I supposed to lead?" Brea said, according to Sliwa. "I'm doing this and others may be following in my footsteps."

Brea's last day will be Friday, Sliwa said.