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  • Hochul's 'SOS' Teams Begin Outreach to Homeless People in Subways

    Gov. Hochul & Mayor Adams discuss subway support teams (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Kathy Hochul's Safe Option Support outreach teams have helped find "bed placements" for 150 homeless individuals living in the subways in their first six months of operation, according to the New York State Office of Mental Health.

    The figures, provided to Gotham Gazette after an inquiry, indicate some action by one of Hochul's first major mental health and public safety initiatives as governor, amid rising homelessness and street violence. They also raise more questions about whether

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  • 'The Dirty Little Secret No One Tells You': New York ATF Chief Details Roadblocks and Progress in Fight to Disrupt Gun Violence

    A gun seizure (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When talking about gun violence in northeastern states like New York, elected and law enforcement officials often say that guns arrive via the “Iron Pipeline,” short-hand for the I-95 corridor where firearms smuggled from southern states with laxer gun laws to the northeast.

    But the reality is much more complex, according to John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

    During remarks Thursday at a conference hosted by City & State New York,

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  • A New Deal for Public Safety

    A street renaming (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is experiencing multiple overlapping public safety crises. The city has crisis levels of homelessness, record levels of drug overdoses, ongoing COVID-19 challenges, and widespread concerns about evictions, wage theft, climate change, and more — but the city agencies doing the most significant hiring are police and corrections.

    We need new investments in producing safe, healthy, and economically secure communities that will also create thousands of new jobs for New York City residents. We propose the creation of a New

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  • Gun Violence is The Crime Problem

    Mayor Adams & President Biden discuss gun violence (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In 2020, there were 375,800 fewer serious crimes in America compared to 2019, about a 5% decline. Amidst the overall decline, one specific type of crime ran counter to trend: murders, most of which are committed with guns, were up by 5,000, a rise of nearly 30%.

    How should we think about these statistics? Should we be happy that serious crime is down or concerned about the increase in homicides? We argue this trend is actually bad news overall. As Berkeley criminologists Franklin Zimring and Gordon

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  • 'We Will Not Surrender Our City': Eric Adams' Tough First Month as Mayor

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    Mayor Adams at the scene of a deadly Bronx fire (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams had a hectic and tragic first month in office, responding to several devastating deadly incidents, establishing a new tone out of City Hall, and overseeing a shaky transition beset by questions about several appointments and punctuated by praise for others.

    In the wake of a Bronx fire that killed at least 17 New Yorkers, the murder of a teenage cashier during a robbery in Harlem, a deadly subway pushing in Times Square, an 11-month-old baby

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  • A Key Lesson of the Harlem Police Shooting

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    A vigil for police officers Rivera and Mora (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Adams' Blueprint to End Gun Violence, just released with much fanfare, represents, regrettably, an old-wine-in-a-new-bottle agenda overly-reliant on punitive law enforcement tactics. The mayor seeks to roll back bail reform and criminalize more young people, and will return to our streets the notorious plainclothes NYPD units responsible for the deaths of Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and others. These measures would do nothing to prevent the shocking kind of tragic incident that

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  • Eric Adams’ Choice: A Deputy Mayor for Justice

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    Mayor-elect Eric Adams outside the 71st Precinct (photo: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP's Office)


    The last time that New York City had a deputy mayor for public safety, New York City was in crisis. In 1990, murders topped out at over 2,200 – seven times the city’s low in 2018.

    Mayor David Dinkins directed his new appointee, Judge Milton Mollen, to “confront the crime that

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  • ‘The New Commissioner Really Has Her Work Cut Out For Her’: Adrienne Adams on Police Reform, Running for City Council Speaker, and More

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York Police Department needs a major culture shift, according to City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Council’s public safety committee, and incoming Mayor Eric Adams can lead the way.

    Speaking at length on a recent episode of the Max Politics podcast from Gotham Gazette, Adams outlined key takeaways from a series of oversight hearings she has chaired and

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Jumaane Williams on Being Reelected Public Advocate & Moving Toward a Run for Governor

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    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    November 9, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Jumaane Williams on Being Reelected Public Advocate & Exploring a Run for Governor

    Jumaane Williams joined the show to discuss his reelection as Public Advocate, what he's watching for from Mayor-elect Eric Adams, his exploration of a run for Governor, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the

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  • Rewriting the History of 2020 Crime

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    NYPD Commissioner Shea & Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We’re seeing history rewritten before our eyes, the heartbreaking death toll of 2020 turned into another political talking point. This time, it’s not COVID-19 fatalities, but the grotesque murders and other violent crimes that impacted so many last year. But while those crimes are all too painfully real, the narrative around this once-in-a-lifetime crime spike is completely fake, and it’s an insult to the memory of those we lost.

    Even before

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Adrienne Adams on NYPD Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    October 26, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Adrienne Adams on NYPD Oversight & More

    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss her work chairing the Council's public safety committee, including recent NYPD oversight hearings, her bid to become the next Speaker of the City Council, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Differing Visions for Public Safety in Western Queens City Council Race

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     Tiffany Cabán, left, and Felicia Kalan


    As in many other races in New York City this election cycle, public safety is the defining issue in the general election in Queens’ City Council District 22, where a rising leftist political star who wants to abolish prisons and the police is facing a Republican pitching a far more conserative approach and ‘common sense’ moderation in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.

    The major party nominees are Tiffany Cabán, a democratic socialist and former public defender who won the Democratic

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  • Ubiquitous Surveillance and Civil Rights Infringements: A Tragic Legacy of 9/11

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    NYPD counterterrorism (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The tragic impacts of the September 11 attacks stretch far beyond the nearly three thousand people who lost their lives that day 20 years ago. 

    Over the last two decades, government forces have trampled on civil rights and liberties in the name of 9/11. Deeply entrenched aspects of our society like the ubiquitous surveillance state that follows us wherever we go, the military mission creep that’s infected our domestic law enforcement, and the unbridled police power that

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Tiffany Cabán Heads Toward the City Council

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    Tiffany Cabán (photo: cabanforqueens.com)


    August 2, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Tiffany Cabán Heads Toward the City Council

    Tiffany Cabán, the Democratic nominee for City Council in Queens' District 22 and a leader of the city's left political movement, joined host Ben Max to discuss her primary win, plans for joining the City Council, latest thoughts on policing, NYPD funding, and "budget justice," and much more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Post-Primary Win, Bragg Promotes Plans for Manhattan DA's Office

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    Alvin Bragg at NAN (photo: @AlvinBraggNYC)


    Alvin Bragg, the former Chief Deputy Attorney General for New York State, appears likely to become Manhattan’s next District Attorney. After winning the Democratic primary, in the general election Bragg will face Republican nominee Thomas Kenniff, who has a very steep uphill battle given the overwhelmingly Democratic make-up of Manhattan's electorate and other advantages Bragg comes into the race with, including institutional support. Bragg ran a progressive primary campaign, while still treading something of a

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  • Effort to 'Defund the NYPD' Appears Stalled Ahead of De Blasio's Final Budget

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    De Blasio and the NYPD (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Even though cutting NYPD funding has become a popular position among many candidates running for mayor, City Council, and other offices this year, the city’s current leadership seems unlikely to embrace any significant cuts to the police department in the upcoming budget amid a sustained increase in gun violence and a glut of federal funding.

    “The voters of this city overwhelmingly, I'm convinced, want a balance. They want reform. They want non-discriminatory policing. They want respectful

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  • De Blasio is on Right Track, But Mental Health Response Teams Need Crucial Changes to Really Work

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    Emergency response (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Last month, Mayor de Blasio unveiled his Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which included a $112 million line item to expand his mental health teams pilot, yet to get off the ground, citywide. Minimizing the role police officers play in responding to

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  • A Resounding No to Deadly No-Knock Warrants

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    NYPD (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As a City Council Member and Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, I understand that people need to feel safe, particularly in their homes. One aspect of this safety is an assurance that authorities will not haphazardly burst in. This is enshrined in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which grants everyone freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. That means there must be probable cause to raid a home.

    However, the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies seem to think

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  • More Cops in the City Won’t Solve What's a National Gun Violence Spike

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    The mayor at a policing press conference (Mayor's Office)


    People joke that New Yorkers think our city is the center of the universe, but judging by the recent media coverage, you’d think the rest of the country fell off the map. As we respond to the heartbreaking surge in shootings, many are quick to link the trend to civil rights protections like bail reform or the repeal of the controversial police secrecy statute 50-a. But the truth is that this isn’t a New York City problem, it’s a national crisis, ...

  • For Truly Meaningful Progress on Police Discipline and Accountability, New York City Needs Albany’s Help

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    NYPD recruits (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    An officer slams a driver on the hood of a car during a traffic stop, then punches the driver’s sister twice in the face, and escapes punishment. Another officer draws his gun on an 11- and a 13-year-old playing in a city park, and sees the charges against him dismissed without trial. A lieutenant ...

  • Accountability, Respect, and Safety: Policing in New York City After the Chauvin Verdict

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    NYPD officers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd provides some comfort to all of us that no one is above the law.

    Patrick Lynch of the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the union representing front-line New York City police officers, said it clearly. “What Derek Chauvin did that day was not policing,” Lynch said after the verdict was announced. “It was murder.”

    The verdict has re-energized a debate, nationally and here in New York City,

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  • 'Wholly Unacceptable': City Council 'Deeply Concerned and Frustrated' with De Blasio Delay on Cuomo-Ordered Police Reform Plan

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    Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Shea (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Update, March 5, 2021: Shortly after the publication of this story and after having declined to comment for the story over multiple days, the de Blasio administration on Friday released the first of a three-part draft plan with 36 proposals. "The plan will now move through a public comment period where it will undergo further revision based on the feedback of the public and through a process with

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  • For True Public Safety, We Must Fight Crime and Its Root Causes

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    NYPD (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As a business leader, a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, and a Black man, I know what it means to have multiple identities. While I may be Mr. McGuire in the boardroom, every time I change into a sweatsuit to run or play basketball, I know that I’m first and foremost a six-foot-four, two-hundred-something-pound Black man. 

    I am also the father of an 8-year-old son who I fear one day could be the next Tamir or Trayvon. My wife Crystal and

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  • The Attorney General’s Lawsuit Against the Mayor and NYPD is a Needed Option

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    The Mayor and PC Shea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Last month, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against the City and the NYPD “to end the pervasive use of excessive force and false arrests by the NYPD against New Yorkers in suppressing overwhelmingly peaceful protests.” The suit was in response to the NYPD’s use of force at last summer’s racial justice protests. The complaint alleges multiple examples of excessive force, and presents a detailed critique of the NYPD’s handling of both the

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Balancing Police Reform and Fighting Crime

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    The mayor and NYPD officials (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    February 3, 2021 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Balancing Police Reform and Fighting Crime

    Richard Aborn of the Citizens Crime Commission of NYC joined the show to discuss police reform and keeping the city safe, including a new set of recommendations from his group.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand ...