- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - The conference room at police headquarters where NYPD brass go to get grilled over rising crime in their precincts was dedicated Tuesday to the architect of the department’s crime tracking system.

Police Commissioner William Bratton said his former deputy Jack Maple helped make the city safe. He died from cancer in 2001 at age 48.

Maple created CompStat, the data-driven system of tracking crimes that allows police to better allocate resources to high-crime areas, in the 1990s, when Bratton was in charge of the NYPD the first time. Bratton was re-appointed this year by Mayor Bill de Blasio who also attended the ceremony, along with officials from then and now and actor Tom Selleck, who plays a police chief on the CBS show “Blue Bloods.”

Maple came up with the idea by collecting crime statistics by precinct, writing the numbers on napkins and spreading them out on bar tables. When Maple became a top adviser to Bratton in 1994, the city’s annual body count still topped 2,000. The year the Bratton team left, 1996, the homicide total dropped below 1,000; last year it was 333, the lowest since comparable record-keeping began.

Bratton and John Miller, deputy commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, said Maple was a force for good - a genius who was a little bit nuts and a whole lot of personality. The portly Queens native was rarely seen in public without a bow tie, Homburg hat and two-toned shoes. “The room that Jack built,” Bratton said. “I’ve waited 20 years to say that.”

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