Cops have fired more than 50 bullets in the last
10 days - wounding at least three people and killing two dogs in a spate
of separate incidents.
Most of the cops involved in the seven shootings dating back to July
16 have less than two years on the force - including the Brooklyn cop
who wounded Robert Ramirez, 28, after he allegedly bashed the cop with a
child's scooter late Monday.
"That's not unusual," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said
yesterday, referring to the proportion of rookies involved in shootings.
"Those are the cops who are out on the streets."
Kelly said the NYPD has hired 13,000 cops since 2002 and has assigned
many of them to patrol bureaus. They often work at night in high-crime
But some veteran cops said they are uncomfortable with the rookies'
assignments, arguing their inexperience could be dangerous in tough
"The problem is that we have all these raw kids out on the streets,"
said a city cop with 22 years on job. "Experienced officers know how to
handle situations so they don't have to fire [their guns]."
The number of shots fired by cops is down 22% so far this year. The
number of officers involved in shootings also is down 16%. In 2005, cops
fired 616 shots - a startling 75% increase from 352 shots fired in the
But NYPD officials called the number of shots fired in 2005 - the
highest since 1999 - a statistical blip, fueled in part by a Sept. 28
shooting in Harlem where six cops fired 77 bullets at a gunman, hitting
him three times.
Maki Haberfeld, who heads the department of law and police science at
John Jay College, agreed, saying: "This is statistically insignificant.
There are 37,000 cops here."