Richard M. Aborn is president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, a non-partisan non-profit organization with multidisciplinary expertise that works to improve public safety through innovation. At the Crime Commission, Mr. Aborn advances strategies to improve the justice system, strengthen gun policies and practices, prevent youth gun violence, and prevent cybercrime.
Under Mr. Aborn’s leadership, the commission has been instrumental in passage of several laws in New York including legislation to expand the use of DNA evidence to convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent, a comprehensive gun violence reduction package, known as the NY SAFE Act, and legislation increasing the penalty for carrying an illegal loaded firearm in the state.
The commission also works with law enforcement, government agencies, community-based organizations, and academia to implement effective, comprehensive strategies to prevent crime. Mr. Aborn led the design and implementation of New York City’s “Project Fast Track,” bringing together the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the NYPD, the NY Office of Court Administration, local prosecutors and others to swiftly investigate and prosecute firearm offenders. He also brought the NYPD and FBI together to establish a first-of-its-kind joint strike force tasked with preventing two of the fastest-growing crimes in the city: identity and high-end electronics thefts. In partnership with the FBI, a new NYPD grand larceny unit with 300 officers investigates criminal rings that steal and re-sell smartphones and tablet computers, as well as perpetrators of online financial crimes.
Also under Mr. Aborn’s leadership, the commission launched the Predictive Prevention Lab, an incubator to develop predictive prevention solutions to enhance the effectiveness of crime prevention through behavior change. The commission partnered with researchers at New York University to develop a program, called E-Responder, rooted in proven conflict resolution strategies, which trains community-based anti-violence professionals to interrupt conflicts on social media before the conflict escalates into real-world violence. In addition, the commission partnered with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to create an intelligent tutoring system that builds internet users’ resilience to phishing attacks.
As the senior law enforcement advisor to the Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York in 2001, he developed a comprehensive criminal justice policy for the City of New York that provided for greater coordination of governmental agencies in order to reduce crime and recidivism; the use of advance technology for police officers; increased focus on gun violence; and the establishment of a “311” program to better manage government community relations. He also urged much greater cooperation and interaction between city agencies. Known as “silo busting”, Mr. Aborn sought to break down the barriers that exist within government hampering greater efficiency.
In addition to his work at the Crime Commission, Mr. Aborn serves as president of CAAS LLC, which advises police departments, criminal justice agencies, corporations and other organizations in the United States, Latin America and Europe on criminal justice policy, violence reduction and Rule of Law issues. He is also one of the managing partners of the international law firm Constantine Cannon and serves on the Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations.