The True History of the NYPD
Taught by Patrick Lamson-Hall
Patrick Lamson-Hall is an urban planner and a research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. He has contributed to the development of the Atlas of Urban Expansion: 2016 Edition, a groundbreaking and original study of the dynamics of global urban growth. He manages the India Urban Expansion Observatory, a 30-person research facility located in Mumbai, India. He is also the New York-based coordinator of the Ethiopia Urban Expansion Initiative, a project to implement long-term spatial plans in 16 Ethiopian cities. He coordinates the Climate Smart Cities: Grenada program, a collaboration with the Green Climate Fund.
Mr. Lamson-Hall holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and is currently a PhD candidate at the Wagner School. In addition to his work at NYU, he has contributed to the crafting of the sustainable development goals as an expert urban planner, has collaborated with UN-Habitat on the writing of a methodology for the assessment of public open space, and has shaped new strategies for the evaluation of cities using high-resolution satellite imagery. His other research interests include alternative transportation, special economic zones, and the measurement of urban density. He is from Eugene, Oregon and now lives in Newark, New Jersey.
This class explores the black box that is law enforcement in New York City. From its origins in the Dutch night watch system, past the pugilistic and corrupt cops of the Tammany Hall era, through the sporadic attempts at reform, and into the current era of policing, learn about the mechanics of the police force and the politics that drive it.
The class also examines recent trends in crime and criminality: the sharp spike in crime from the 1960s to 1990s, followed by the sudden and unexpected reduction in crime in the 1990s and 2000s. This shift, only partially explained, means that we’re living in a city that is possibly safer than ever before, but has also left some communities shattered by the thirty-year long war on drugs, zero tolerance policies, and statistically driven policing tactics.