NEW YORK – New York Police Department officers are patrolling inside private apartment buildings in a program known as Operation Clean Halls.
The program has been lauded by some residents who say they feel safer but vilified by others who say they’re being harassed at home. Many complain they’re illegally stopped and arrested.
More than two dozen people who say they were wrongly stopped have filed a federal lawsuit.
The program is the only one like it in a major U.S. city. It started in the 1990s, when crime was at all-time highs.
Now, there are more than 3,000 buildings around the city enrolled, mostly in higher-crime areas. To enroll, a building owner or manager signs paperwork allowing police to enter and arrest people found to be committing crimes.