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NYPD’s Quality of Life Teams

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There was an interesting exchange at last night's Community Board 3 meeting concerning the elimination of the NYPD's specialized "quality of life teams." Sometimes referred to as "cabaret units," they focused on enforcement of laws at clubs, bars and restaurants. Late last year, the Police commissioner ordered some precincts to disband the teams, saying ""the reassignment of some of these specialized units has allowed more
police officers and supervisors to be deployed for patrol purposes and
has "allowed greater focus on quality-of-life issues."  Last night, District Manager Susan Stetzer said she's hearing from club owners who believe disbanding the specialized groups was a mistake — that the officers now responding to problems at bars and clubs are less knowledegeable. CB3 member David Mcwater strongly objected to the notion that the cabaret units were helpful. He asserted that they abused their powers, calling their raids on various establishments "political torture in the neighborhood." McWater, former CB3 chairman and a current member of the committee that evaluates liquor licenses, owns several bars.

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