The Arrest Alert Email

The Arrest Alert Email

The arrest alert email should include the Category, Group and Sub-group titles, the name of the Subgroup owner (as a contact for further information), note(s) associated with the alert, and details of the new arrest.

Below is an example of an arrest alert, shown in two parts – a header (detailing the reasons a defendant is part of the alerts) and the body (providing details of the new arrest). This header below illustrates a defendant who is included in multiple categories, with the arrest alert emailed to each person who has registered his interest in the defendant.


In this example, the header shows that the defendant is included in the following Categories:

1. Gangs – the defendant is a member of a Manhattan gang called FDZ;
2. Housing Locations – defendant lives in the Polo Grounds and is a suspected robber;
3. Parole – the defendant is on New York State parole;
4. FIO Alerts – the defendant has been identified by the Field Intelligence Officer of the 32nd pct. as a priority robbery target;
5. Curfews and Conditions – the defendant has a parole-mandated curfew; and
6. Open Case alert.

Alerts organized in this fashion foster communication internally as each recipient can see who else has an interest in the defendant and, in turn, a response can be coordinated among all of those following this defendant. Additionally, anyone seeking information about the defendant’s inclusion in a particular Category is informed whom to contact.


The details regarding each new arrest of a target in the Arrest Alert System come from information provided electronically by the NYPD. For example, the alert below indicates that this target was arrested for a gunpoint robbery in the 32nd pct.

The body of an arrest alert also provides an opportunity for information sharing. In this example above, the target was arrested in the 32nd precinct, where he is a priority for the precinct’s Field Intelligence Officer (“FIO”). However, if he had been arrested in any one of the other 21 precincts of Manhattan or one of the other 75 precincts in New York City, the FIO might have not been informed without the arrest alert. Similarly, the arresting precinct might not have been aware of the arrestee’s priority.

Even when targets are arrested in their precinct of residence or criminal behavior, the officers making the arrest may be unaware of the defendant’s criminal significance and those in the precinct most familiar with the defendant may not be aware of the arrest until after the defendant has been processed. Thus, the automatic generation and dissemination of alerts to appropriate police contacts ensure that a priority target does not go unnoticed upon arrest, especially if arrests occur outside of the precinct in which he is a significant contributor to criminal activity.


An Arrest Alert System can generate a number of reports to help identify key cases among the thousands that may pending at any one time, as well as to help coordinate resources within an office.


This type of report generates a list of defendants, by Category, Group or Sub-Group, and the cases prosecuted by the Manhattan DA’s office. For example, with a list of open cases of defendants who are members of a particular Sub-Group, i.e., a violent gang, the office can brief the ADAs assigned to cases on the gang’s activities and then review and coordinate the proposed case dispositions in order to maximize the law enforcement impact on the gang.


This report will generate a list of all of the Categories, Groups and Sub-Groups in which a defendant’s NYSID number is included. This list will document those defendants who possibly are being tracked by multiple ADAs within the office, who may not otherwise be aware of their shared interest. This ensures that ADAs are sharing information and coordinating strategies in the early stages of a case—even before an arrest or re-arrest.


Although not technically a report, the Arrest Alert System can be programmed to send an email to all current owners of a NYSID alert whenever another system user creates an alert for that same NYSID. The goal of this email is to foster communication internally so that all ADAs tracking a particular defendant are notified and can share information with other ADAs who develop an interest in the same defendant.


Arrest alerts need not only be defendant-based; alerts can be created for any single or multiple data points so long as the desired data points are included in the arrest data streams. Arrest data from the NYPD includes name, date of birth, penal law charge, precinct of arrest, address of occurrence, home address, as well as other incident details.

An ADA investigating a shooting at a particular location could, for example, create an alert to be notified of the arrest of any person at that address or nearby locations. Alternatively, an ADA focusing on a particular housing development could create an alert that would notify subscribers when anyone is arrested at any of the addresses of that development or when a resident of that development is arrested elsewhere. CSU has found that the most effective way to match addresses is to geocode and then match locations rather than trying to match address spellings, which frequently are not uniformly documented (e.g., Broadway vs. Bway).]

Arrest alerts could also be created based upon charge. For instance, alerts for all arrests involving a weapon allow for enhanced investigative steps early in the arrest process, if deemed necessary. Additionally, an ADA focusing on car break-ins could create an alert for anyone arrested and charged with that offense in a particular precinct.

Ultimately, there is no limit to the type or specificity of arrest alerts that can be created, but CSU most frequently uses alerts based upon person, location and crime type.

Bureau Based Projects (BBPs)

The comprehensive survey revealed (i) geographic areas that were facing particularly acute criminal activity, generally gang and gun violence and (ii) quality of life crimes, spread across precinct and CSU Area boundaries that previously had not been part of a comprehensive crime-reduction focus by the DA’s Office. To address these concerns, the Bureau Based Projects (BBPs) was created. BBPs consisted of dedicated teams of three or more prosecutors from the Trial Division assigned to focus on a particular “hotspot”, gang or crime issue. These prosecutors were charged with identifying individuals responsible for the crime problem or condition, devising proactive plans to target them and prosecuting the cases that resulted. These BBP teams identified ten to fifteen priority targets, entered them into the Arrest Alert System and worked to incapacitate them through incarceration or subject them to supervision by probation or parole.

Some of the issues addressed by BBPs in Manhattan included night club violence, pick-pockets, counterfeit ticket sellers and street scammers who prey on tourists. Members of these issue BBPs reviewed each arrest of a priority target to determine if felony charges were possible, prepared a detailed bail application seeking appropriate bail conditions and conducted intelligence debriefings when appropriate.

The prosecutors staffing BBPs become subject matter experts on the geographic area, gang or crime condition and work closely with NYPD specialized units such as gang, narcotics or the grand larceny division to identify targets and develop intelligence. The members of the BBP teams utilize the Arrest Alert System, the debriefing program, photo sheets and other tools discussed below in this guide to achieve their mission.