New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says more police officers will be deployed to certain areas in the city following a recent surge in shootings.
During a Monday briefing, de Blasio addressed the recent uptick in shootings in the city, saying he’s “very, very concerned.” He announced a new program, dubbed “Summer All Out,” which will send hundreds of additional officers to 20 precincts that are experiencing gun violence, according to WINS 1010 AM.
“We are not going to allow gun violence to continue to grow. We’re going to do whatever it takes to fight back,” de Blasio said.
As of Saturday, there had been 28 shooting incidents during the week in New York City, affecting 38 victims compared to only 12 shootings during the same week last year. The shootings coincide with a decision last Monday to disband the NYPD’s plainclothes unit following calls from de Blasio to reform the department in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Some members of law enforcement in the nation’s largest city were upset about the move to disband the unit, which consisted of about 600 officers, arguing that public safety will take a hit.
“Anti-Crime’s mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences.”
De Blasio’s move to increase police presence in certain neighborhoods comes as relations between city leadership and police have become strained over recent years and have gotten worse following the protests and riots this summer.
The mayor promised earlier this month to cut police funding and redistribute the money to “youth and social services.”
“People from the community, civilians deeply steeped in their communities with the ability to bring the concerns of the community to the highest levels of the NYPD, to bring back answers including the status on disciplinary cases and changes in policing that needs to be done to allow better policing, fairer policing,” de Blasio said in a press conference at the time he announced the funding decision.
De Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, recently described a scenario where no cops existed in New York City as “nirvana” and expressed disappointment that the city is unable to disband its police department the way Minneapolis is planning.