In this campaign season, lots of politicians talk about fighting crime, but only one candidate has a record of successful results to back it up – Rudy Giuliani. While Mitt Romney relies on rhetoric, Rudy has the record of protecting the people.
Their respective records provide a stark contrast. During Romney’s tenure, the Massachusetts murder rate went up 7.5 percent and robbery went up 12 percent. Compare that to Rudy’s record of cutting crime. On Rudy’s watch, murder in New York City went down 66 percent and robbery went down 67 percent. Rudy led while Romney lagged.
I know how committed Rudy is to protecting citizens and fighting crime. I worked with him in the 1980s - fighting organized crime, busting drug dealers, and breaking up gangs – when I was an undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City.
At the time, crime was out of control. More than 16,800 people were murdered over the course of the decade – and violent drug dealers controlled neighborhoods throughout the city. Cocaine and heroin were easy to obtain, especially in the Lower East Side, Washington Heights and on Wall Street.
I first met Rudy Giuliani when he was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Earning that position in 1983, Rudy had taken a strong interest in trying to resolve the problems New York City faced, particularly violent crime and drug dealing. I thought it was rare for a U.S. Attorney to be so focused on getting involved and getting results. Rudy’s ideas were powerful: utilize stronger federal statutes against drug dealers and fight drug use in every neighborhood – from Alphabet City to Wall Street
Rudy’s idea was to have undercover agents continue to buy the drugs, make arrests, collect intelligence and use powerful federal laws for prosecution. For example, we brought many cases using federal statutes and started to put away the heads of the street level organized groups. Dramatic results were achieved - dealers were in jail in the federal system - where they faced actual jail time. The word spread quickly among the drug dealers: the law would be enforced and when dealers were caught, they would go to jail for a long time.
Rudy’s anti-drug initiatives focused on every neighborhood in the Big Apple. Conspiracy cases were built in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In Washington Heights we started seizing the cars of out-of-town buyers from the suburbs who came to buy crack and other drugs. Around this time, I was working undercover and buying cocaine on Wall Street, which opened a whole new window at the drug problem. Drugs were used on Wall Street to lure customers and close deals.
Under Rudy’s leadership, we started winning the war on drugs. How? Using all available laws (local to federal) and targeting all involved in the drug chain: sellers, importers and users. Our approach in NYC became a model for the rest of the country. Previous strategies for combating drug dealers involved sweeps through neighborhoods. But once the sweeps were over, the drug dealers returned. Rudy not only moved law enforcement into neighborhoods controlled by drug dealers, he kept officers there to make sure criminals didn’t return, giving families and businesses an opportunity to reclaim their blocks.
When Rudy was elected Mayor, he used the same approaches to decrease crime and improve the quality of life for all citizens. He began by backing the police department like he supported federal agents. His message was clear – do your job right, be professional and honest and I will back you 100%. If you are dishonest or corrupt, I will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. Cops and agents weren’t afraid to do their jobs, make arrests and make a difference.
Rudy was always listening to new ideas about how to achieve various goals. I was in the room with him on several occasions when he changed his mind about our methods. He was always open to innovative ideas and he was able to adjust his strategy to facts on the ground. We knew that when we reached a consensus on a issue - we left the meeting with a positive attitude about that decision.
In 1993, when Rudy was elected, there were 1,946 murders a year and more than 11,000 major crimes per week in New York City. Using his proven strategies as well as innovative technology and crime-fighting techniques, Rudy’s policies reduced murders by 66%, to 649 in 2001. Crime dropped across the board: Vehicle theft decreased 73%. Shootings decreased 70%. Burglary decreased 68%. Robbery decreased 67%. Crime throughout New York City plummeted 56% and the city that was once considered the crime capital of the nation became the safest large city in the United States according to FBI statistics.
As Mitt Romney is learning, campaign rhetoric is a lousy substitute for real results. Based on his long record of strong leadership and personal courage, I know Rudy Giuliani will make a great President of the United States. He’s already shown he can solve difficult problems, and he has the strength and vision to meet the challenges that now face our country.
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