06/24/2013

NY police unit focuses on deadly crashes

With the crime rate at a record low, one police unit has shifted their focus to fatal car accidents

By J. David Goodman
New York Times

NEW YORK — For thousands of New York City detectives, violence is usually synonymous with crime. But for the two dozen tasked with investigating the city’s serious traffic crashes, the first question at any roped-off crime scene is determining whether a crime has taken place.

With the murder rate at a historic low, the Police Department has quietly moved to examine more of these crashes, focusing new attention and resources on another manner of violent death in the streets — the victims walking, riding bicycles or in a vehicle.

The specialized squad came under the department’s scrutiny last year, and some feared that its work would be curtailed. Instead, it has been bolstered with more detectives, high-tech mapping tools and a new mandate to investigate roughly three times as many crashes this year as last.

Full Story: Police Unit Taking Closer Look at Deadly Crashes

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