Cy Vance’s Broken Window

Cy Vance Jr. just made it official: Broken-windows policing is dead.

Mr. Vance is district attorney for Manhattan, and broken windows is the theory of law enforcement that helped transform New York City from a murder-ridden metropolis to America’s safest big city. George Kelling and James Q. Wilson laid out the principles in a 1982 article in the Atlantic, which emphasized the importance of maintaining order in a neighborhood’s public spaces. “If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired,” they wrote, “all the…

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