With gun violence up, NYC shifting 330 cops to high-crime locations
Summer All Out program to return
After reports showed an increase in shootings and homicides in New York City this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference on Tuesday that NYPD would be moving resources towards problem areas for the summer.
He stressed that overall crime in New York City is down 6.6 percent, calling it a “remarkable achievement” coming on top of last year’s crime reduction.
However, the mayor said, “There has been obviously an uptick in homicides and shootings. It is something we take very, very seriously. It’s something we’re addressing right now … That is why NYPD is moving, as we speak, resources and energy toward the problem areas.”
On Monday, the city announced the return of the Summer All Out program, which will move 330 officers to high-crime locations. De Blasio said the program had “profound impact” last summer, so that by the end of 2014, “we had had the safest year in decades.” He added that Commissioner Bratton and his team are constantly improving crime-fighting strategy and tactics.
In response to a question about the use of stop and frisk, de Blasio said the policy was not eliminated, but refined.
“We came up with a better approach under the leadership of Commissioner Bratton. We stop people who have done something wrong, and you see that in the statistics.”
He also said the city was employing more technology, including ShotSpotter in some precincts, along with providing officers with smartphones and the tablets in their vehicles.
“We have – you can see now from the CCRB records, improved relationship between police and community. You can tell because complaints about police are down 25 percent,” de Blasio said.
The City Council has been pushing the city to hire as many as 1,000 more police officers – something the mayor has said is not necessary.
When asked again on Tuesday about hiring more officers, de Blasio said that improvements – such as the elimination of needless stops and low-level marijuana arrests and better police training — have given officers more time to focus on serious crimes.
But he didn’t totally rule out hiring more officers. “I – look, every single day I’m going over those numbers, and I feel them deeply. But at the same time we see an overall reduction in crime. We have to recognize that that trend speaks volumes too,” he said.
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