Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics


Adams 2021: In-depth - Agenda to Reduce Crime

Lower Crime Through Precision Public Safety
Our city faces an unprecedented crisis that threatens to undo the progress we have made against crime. Gun arrests, shootings and hate crimes are up; people do not feel safe in their homes or on the street.

As a police officer who patrolled the streets in a bulletproof vest in the 1990s, I watched lawlessness spread through our city, infecting communities with the same terrible swiftness of COVID-19.

We cannot allow New York to go back to a city that is unsafe.By saving money through technology and efficiency, and using it to fund targeted initiatives that reduce serious crime, I will more effectively deploy resources while ensuring that police do the real police work needed to get the
bad guys and prevent crime in the first place.

Here’s my plan for reducing crime and keeping New Yorkers safe.

Target Gun Violence
The number one driver of crime spikes in the city right now is gun violence. We must  reverse this troubling trend fast by using coordinated tactics, smart policing and  cooperation between agencies and with the community. I will: 

  • Reinvent the anti-crime unit as an anti-gun unit, hiring officers with the skills and  temperament for this kind of intense, on the ground police work by removing  overly aggressive cops and by targeting known shooters with precision policing tactics. 
  • Prevent guns from coming in through our bus and train stations with spot checks  like the ones we use in subway stations. 
  • Work with the Port Authority to strengthen security at city entry points,  implementing spot checks and coordinating anti-trafficking initiatives. 
  • Fully fund the City’s Crisis Management System and allow for more centralized  coordination between law enforcement, community groups and our hospitals. 
  • Improve communication and coordination between CMS and NYPD to prevent  retaliatory violence once a shooting has occurred. 
  • Convene citywide clergy leaders and law enforcement officials to partner on public  safety initiatives in hotspots. 
  • Form a Tri-State commission to formulate policy proposals that would stop the  flow of illegal handguns into our communities. 
  • Coordinate a multi-state East Coast compact to share information on dirty gun  dealers and potential traffickers to make up for a lack of federal response 
  • Significantly increase funding to the City’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence. 

Deal With Crime Spikes Before  They Get Out Of Control
By using real-time governing tools and tracking crime trends to become predictive, we  can quickly shift NYPD resources from one community to another to reverse bad trends,  much the way the NYPD uses COMPstat. For instance, we will regularly shift detectives  and other officers from low-crime areas to crime hot-spots.

Reduce Crime By Having Cops Focus  On Police Work
About 500 police officers work in full time clerical jobs or spend their days driving trucks  or removing barricades instead of conducting investigations or preventing crime. Even  police officers tasked with fighting crime spend huge amounts of their time on court  appearances and paperwork. The city can save $500 million a year through strategic  civilization of the force and by lowering overtime costs related to paperwork. A starting  police officer earns $42,500 a year, which goes up to about $85,000 in less than six  years. Police administrative aides make just $33,875 a year. The total savings could go  into programs proven to reduce crime by working with local anti-violence groups and  community organizations, like the Crisis Management System. 

Tackle The Trauma That Festers  In Communities Experiencing Gun Violence
Living in a high-crime community and experiencing gun violence creates trauma that  impacts a youth’s ability to perform in school and achieve in life. We will supply adequate  services that address trauma and allow for healing, reducing the risk of incarceration,  teenage pregnancy and homelessness. Prevention and follow up measures that serve to  heal and support these youth are best delivered by trauma-trained credible messengers  paired with mental health professionals, social services and violence interrupters. 

Address Domestic Violence Abusers’ Trauma So They Stop  Perpetuating Violence
The NYPD responds to approximately 230,000 domestic incidents each year and 18% of  homicides in NYC are due to domestic violence. Many abusers are repeat offenders. We  must acknowledge that current programming to change abusers’ behavior is insufficient  and doesn’t deal with root causes, which are often traumas experienced by the abuser  themselves. To address this, we will launch the "Family Violence Perpetrator Program,”  based on cognitive and behavioral therapy, to evaluate abusers’ traumas and treat them  to prevent further violence.

Treat Repeat Cases With Better Services
There are tens-of-thousands of New Yorkers who cycle in and out of jails and mental  hospitals in New York City: In 2019, about 20 percent of the city’s approximately 60,000  homeless people had a serious mental illness; and hospital stays for patients with  serious mental illness add up to more than 1 million days each year. We have to stop  jailing the mentally ill for non-violent crimes and treat potentially violent cases by  increasing access to services and expanding citywide the highly successful Fountain  House model of care, providing structured therapeutic social settings to help people  transition from therapeutic settings to non-therapeutic settings. 

Stop The Hate
New York City is experiencing a disturbing increase in hate crimes that must be swiftly  addressed by City government in a comprehensive, coordinated way. Here is my  three-point plan to better engage prosecutors, police and our businesses to preventing  hate crimes: 

  • Ensure every district attorney’s office has a robust hate crime unit, improving  investigations and making it easier for non-English speaking victims to safely  report crimes. 
  • Have the NYPD dedicate far more resources to its Hate Crimes Task Force. 
  • Expand Operation Safe Shopper, my plan to link local civic organizations and  storefront businesses with a program to fund the installation of street-facing  security cameras in storefronts, working with their local police precincts.

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