Livery cab driver killings — the challenge that New York City had to combat and a situation that allowed authorities to prove that they were doing their job. The killing of livery cab drivers was a time that united the people of New York (Rashbaum, 2000).
Livery cab driver killings had been a major problem in New York for over 30 years. Every year, policemen and the government had to deal with countless investigations to provide justice for dozens of killed drivers each year. Not only were the livery cab drivers killed — they were also robbed (Rashbaum, 2000). The people who had enough means and power to do something about it, like the government and the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, did something about it, and here are as follows:
The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers led by Fernando A. Mateo employed several safety measures to reduce livery cab driver killings. Mateo and his subordinates obliged all livery cab drivers to put bulletproof partitions inside the livery cabs. Because of this, the livery cab drivers were divided into parts where the livery cab driver was protected from his passenger who may have been a potential robber or murderer, through a wall or divider. While the wall or divider, or what the federation technically terms as partition, can prevent robbery, it obviously may not keep the livery cab drivers from murder at all since bullets can pass through walls. This possibility was a major concern of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
To counterattack what was left of the problem, the federation ordered livery cab drivers to use bulletproof partitions. Bulletproof material prevented the livery cab drivers from getting shot. To further make this protective measure effective, livery cab drivers were ordered to close the partitions all the time. While it was true bulletproof material was used as a shield from gun shots and other means of killing, these partitions still made a driver susceptible to killing once it is left open.
The use of surveillance cameras was also ordered by the city and the federation. Through this, a livery cab driver was given the chance to put another eye at the passenger’s area. The driver can readily see the potential harms a passenger may do even before he does it. A passenger, for example, who releases a gun from his bag, will be readily seen by the driver. The time the potential murderer is releasing a gun is also the time a driver can call the police or employ other preventive measures to protect his own life.
That time, every time a driver became suspicious of a passenger, he can readily report it to the policemen who were monitoring him through a secret alarm system. The city’s mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, showed his support for these safety measures by providing each livery cab driver with enough financial assistance. The city released $5 million worth of protection equipment.
Each livery cab driver in New York City was given $325. This amount of money served as an assistance to pay for the needed equipment like partitions and bulletproofing. Surveillance cameras cost $700. This means that the city paid for half the total expense of a driver for one surveillance camera. If a driver chose to put up a partition inside his livery cab, then he may put up one which cost $275 on the average.
The city, together with the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, employed other preventive and protective measures without the use of material things. The city revised its law regarding the punishment for liver cab driver killers and robbers. Tougher sanction was applied in which another two to three years were added to the years a convict will have to spend in jail.
Police decoy was also widely used. This was another preventive and protective measure to investigate murder and robbery cases more efficiently. With the use of police decoy, an officer pretended to be a livery cab driver. He went around the neighborhood to get passengers and picked up their fares. This was an effective step since robbery and murder reduced from 2,000 to 455 cases. The efficient investigation allowed for this impressive change in the statistics.
Aside from police decoys who served as patrols, protection was maximized especially when livery cab drivers were required to stop at areas where there were police officers. These officers obliged drivers to pull over to see their current condition. The police officers ensure the safety and protection of drivers by checking the passengers. Police officers were able to prevent 50 possible livery cab driver killings by spotting 50 passengers with guns.
Such intense conscious effort caused very pronounced victory than expected. Before 2000, no single year has passed without dozens of livery cab drivers being killed. When these aforementioned measures were employed, the year came when no single case of livery cab driver killing or robbery was reported. With this change in statistics, the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers and the government of New York City proved that with efficient action, achieving a goal becomes possible.
Because of this, the federation and the city became more inspired with employing more measures to totally alleviate killings so that such victory won’t last for only a year. To maintain positive changes, the federation and the government worked hand in hand to put up tracking systems for the drivers. This way, the drivers were always monitored. The police tracked down the whereabouts of every livery cab driver. Adolfo Carrion, Jr., New York City’s councilman, was willing to co-sponsor this to further improve livery cab driver killings.
In 2000, statistics dramatically changed from drastic to impressive when it comes to cases of killings. Every livery cab driver did not just begin to feel safer and more secured with his job — his children and wife patiently waiting at home were finally able to sleep soundly at night. All they needed to wait for was a goodnight kiss from their father.
Michaelluo. (2004). Police Measures Avert Livery Cab Killings. New York Times. Retrieved
December 1, 2007, from http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/07/nyregion/07livery.html
Rashbaum, W. K. (2000). After Deaths, City Plans Millions for Livery Cab Safety. The
New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2007 from