Quality-of-life summonses plunge in NYC

How is the quality of life in New York City? Well, it depends on whom you ask.

In June, a new law gave New York City police officers the discretion whether to issue a civil or criminal summons for offenses like having an open alcohol container, urinating in public, and littering.

From June 13 through Oct 1, officers issued 4,370 criminal summonses. During the same time last year, cops issued more than 55,000. The decrease in criminal summonses did not translate to civil ones for that same time frame. Officers handed out about 26,000 civil summonses.

Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the 90-percent drop in criminal summonses.

"Nobody's destiny should hinge on a minor non-violent offense," he said in a statement. This summer's results of record-low crime, paired with record-low summonses, show that we can smartly enforce key low-level offenses without sacrificing New Yorkers' quality of life or safety."

Regarding the new stats, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said New York is experiencing a historic decline in crime and is this is one of many steps that the NYPD has taken to fine-tune its policing.

This issue of quality of life has become a hot topic of debate in the race for mayor. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican candidate, criticized the way things are.

"What we have seen a clear deterioration in the city, whether it's public urination, whether it's aggressive pan-handling," Malliotakis said. "Based on conversations I've had with police officers is that they're afraid. They're afraid to actually do their job."

And Josmar Trujillo of the Coalition to End Broken Windows told Fox 5 that the stats don't reflect what is happening in some communities.

"The police are constantly pushing people out of areas for minor offenses, for minor transgressions," Trujillo said. "So the numbers may be going down but police presence is still very aggressive in low-income, poor communities of color."