NEW YORK - Times Square is the Crossroads of the World, a prime terror target, and a must-see destination for tourists from everywhere. It's also the scene of vibrant street hustles by scantily clad women and panhandling cartoon characters.
Now Times Square is getting a dedicated police contingent of 100 officers who will be permanently assigned here to regular shifts. Some officers are always in the same place at the same time. The NYPD says they're building on that idea so that the police will come to know the community and the regulars, like men who work near times square.
Tim Tompkins, the President of the Times Square Alliance, says: "Having a seasoned and consistent unit to thoughtfully address quality of life issues in Times Square is a great development." About the only person we found who didn't think it was necessary was the security guard for the painted ladies who pose.
The NYPD says this patrol strategy is working well in Queens and Upper Manhattan, and results in the officers knowing a community's issues. The new officers are expected to be in place in September.