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Gotham Gazette

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public safety

public safety

  • Hochul Presents State of the State Agenda Focused on Public Safety, Housing Development, Mental Health Care, Climate Action, & More

    Gov. Hochul (photo: Governor's Office)

    Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday delivered her second State of the State speech, and the first since she was elected to a full term, pledging to tackle crime, boost housing production, advance climate action, and invest heavily in the state’s mental health system to “make New York more affordable, more livable, and safer.”

    Speaking in the Assembly chamber at the Capitol building in Albany, Hochul outlined a broad legislative and policy agenda for the year ahead. It was Hochul’s first fully in-person State of the State address, following last year’s speech

  • Lawmakers Push Back as Mayor Adams Says They Aren’t Helping Crime Victims


    Mayor Adams decries victims of gun violence (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Having come to power on a tough-on-crime message after years marked by criminal justice reform and protests against police brutality, Mayor Eric Adams often says New York lawmakers have done too much to protect the perpetrators of crime and not enough for the victims.

    But after a year in office he has not said what additional victims services policies he thinks should be in place.

    "What do we do

  • 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

  • After Push by Hochul and Adams, an Increase in Court-Ordered Mental Health Treatment

    Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams make an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    According to state data, the number of people placed under court-ordered mental health treatment since April, when lawmakers expanded the court's power to make such determinations, has increased 60% from the same period a year before.

    The data, provided by the state Office of Court Administration (OCA) to Gotham Gazette after an inquiry, shows that during the four-month period from April through July, 462 people in New York were ordered by a judge to

  • 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

  • Public Health, Public Safety, and the New York City Budget

    Mayor Adams at an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Typically, the scorching hot summer months bring a rise in violence, but there’s much more than temperature at play. Last fall, a Violence Interrupter in Brooklyn shared with us his greatest concerns as we moved to the colder months. He noted that the sunset of extended unemployment benefits would cause more families to be under stress, leading more kids to leave their turbulent home environment in search of solace and kinship in the streets. 

    To Protect Older New Yorkers, Leaders Must Expand Proven Solutions to End Traffic Violence

    Crossing the street safely (photo: Clay LeConey)

    99-year-old Holocaust survivorJack Mikulincer was killed crossing the street in his wheelchair by an SUV driver in Brooklyn.


  • Subway Shooting Showcases Surveillance’s Shortcomings

    Command center (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    They had been planning for this moment for years, for decades, the moment terror took to the train and targeted the beating, rumbling heart of our city. Even prior to 9/11, but especially in its wake, NYPD officials called for billions in investment to prevent and respond to an attack on underground commuter arteries, and they got every penny they wanted. Money poured in to monitor, record, and remember seemingly every aspect of our commuting life, and when a gunman made the unthinkable carnage

  • Creating True Public Safety in New York, Our Most Important Job

    Juan Ardila, the author, on the subway

    Keeping everyone safe is the most important function of government. As a leader, I take that responsibility very seriously. The recent subway shooting in Brooklyn is devastating. As has been the dramatic rise in hate crimes and increase in gun violence during the pandemic. These events and trends cause anxiety across communities. Every New Yorker must feel safe in their homes, on our streets, and in our subways. 

    Public safety requires competence and effectiveness. Yes, we need to

  • Taking Aim at Gun Violence: We Need Action from All 3 Levels of Government

    At the scene of a subway shooting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Like all New Yorkers, I was shocked and horrified by the recent subway shooting. 

    Gun violence in New York City has skyrocketed over the past two years. Reported crime citywide has increased by 41% since the beginning of the year over the same period last year. Shootings increased by 31.6% in January alone. Attacks on city subways have gone up as well, with felony assaults in the subway rising by 25% since 2019. These crimes have a particularly

  • Max Politics Podcast: Bob Hardt on the Subway Shooting and Lieutenant Governor's Resignation

    Gov. Hochul announcing Brian Benjamin as her Lt. Gov. (photo: Darren McGee/Office of the Governor)

    April 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Subway Shooting, Lieutenant Governor Resigns & What's Next in New York Politics

    Bob Hardt, New York political director for Spectrum News, joined the show to discuss the major events of the week: the Brooklyn subway station shooting and the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, and what comes next.

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

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senators Julia Salazar & Jabari Brisport on the New State Budget

    State Senators Julia Salazar, left, & Jabari Brisport

    April 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senators Julia Salazar & Jabari Brisport on the New State Budget

    State Senators Julia Salazar and Jabari Brisport, both Brooklyn Democrats and members of the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the show to discuss major recent events -- the Brooklyn subway shooting and resignation of Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin -- as well as the recently-passed state budget and upcoming legislative session.

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

  • 'A Very Unique Political Character': Eric Adams' First 100 Days as Mayor of New York City

    Mayor Eric Adams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    On Mayor Eric Adams’ 100th day in office on Sunday, he announced he had contracted COVID-19, a setback following an event and media blitz in which he touted his early accomplishments and the policy priorities of his incipient administration. It has been a demanding few months for the new mayor, with a series of tragedies and soaring crime posing the most immediate test of the former NYPD captain’s public safety-focused promises, threatening to hobble the city’s pandemic recovery and erode New Yorkers’ patience

  • An Inclusive Economic Recovery Will Prevent Crime

    On the job (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Roughly a decade has passed since New York City experiencedcrime rates and

    ‘Our Community Is Incredibly Angry’: Asian American Federation President Jo-Ann Yoo on Anti-Asian Violence

    "Stop Asian Hate" (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    “Right now our community is incredibly, incredibly angry,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, a New York City-based nonprofit, duringa recent appearance on Gotham Gazette’s Max Politics podcast. “We feel ignored. We feel unseen,” Yoo said, discussing the rise in

  • Williams and Lander Start Presenting United Progressive Counterweight to Adams

    Jumaane Williams & Brad Lander as members of the City Council (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    All three of New York City’s citywide elected officials – Mayor Eric Adams, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Comptroller Brad Lander – are Democrats from Brooklyn. But their respective victories in last year’s elections signified different things to their supporters and political analysts. Those who backed Adams saw his win as a rejection of left progressive politics that they believed had gone too far in the city, while Williams and Lander supporters

  • After Twin Parks: We Need an NYC Office of Fire Door Safety

    FDNY on the scene in the Bronx (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Walking up four floors in a friend’s apartment building the other day I noticed something you might not: on almost every floor, the door to the stairwell was open. Someone had just casually propped them open, maybe to make going in and out easier because the doors are so heavy. I also notice some of the apartment doors that are just simply open, not propped up, when they should be self-closing based on a recent law passed by the City Council mandated that building owners across the New York

  • The Compounding Relationship Between Violence and Urban Inequality

    Emergency (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)

    At the start of the 1960s, just over four out of every 100,000 Americans were murdered each year. The murder rate rose sharply during that decade, and then fluctuated between 8 and 10 murders per 100,000 for most of the 1980s and early 1990s, before it began to fall in the mid-1990s. By 2014, the murder rate had fallen to 4.4 murders for every 100,000 people, back to where it stood at the beginning of the 1960s.

    That year, 2014, was one of the safest in our nation’s

  • 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

  • A Safer City to Rebuild New York and Bring Us Together

    Mayor Adams & an NYPD officer (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Those who live, work, and visit New York City deserve to feel safe, whether walking to the store, visiting a park, or taking the subway. For those who commute to work in the city, like many union construction workers, they deserve to feel safe and know they will go home to their families at night. Unfortunately, right now in New York City, crime is rising, and violence is permeating our normal way of life. It feels like every day, headlines are filled with stories highlighting preventable and tragic

  • Max Politics Podcast: Asian-American New Yorkers Fight To Be Seen

    Jo-Ann Yoo of the Asian American Federation (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    March 2, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Asian-American New Yorkers Fight To Be Seen

    Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation, joined the show to discuss how Asian-American New Yorkers are dealign with a spate of hate crimes and violence, how that trend can be stopped, a broader agenda for supporting and empowering Asian-American New Yorkers, what she recently asked of Mayor Eric Adams, and more.

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

  • Shifting Power to the Community: A Hopeful Experiment in Brownsville, Brooklyn

    DA Gonzalez & others in Brooklyn (photo: Brooklyn DA's office)

    What does a safe community look like? We know the answer, because such communities exist, usually in well-resourced, predominantly white neighborhoods where people have the resources to meet their basic needs—including healthy food, shelter, transportation, clean and inviting public spaces, childcare, education, and health care. A safe community is also a place where people know and trust their neighbors, take care of each other, hold each other accountable, and resolve conflicts peacefully when they arise.

  • Stemming Violence by Investing in Civic Goods

    Summer Youth Employment Program rally (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    The criminal justice system is not the only entity that contributes to public safety. There is evidence from across the United States on “civic goods” — interventions, unrelated to the criminal justice system, that have been shown to have meaningful effects on violent crime in the short- to medium-term. 

    Interventions for Children and Teens
    Many kids don’t feel safe going to school each day due to violent crime....

  • New York’s Endangered Subways

    subway crime nypd

    On the subway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    My friend and I had left the theatre on 42nd Street around 11 p.m. on a recent beautiful night. We walked peaceably to catch our usual #1 train at Times Square—the station where a young woman, Michelle Go, had been pushed to her death in front of a train by an apparently deranged, homeless man just days earlier.

    The platform was packed but the train, also packed, came quickly. Almost immediately we sensed something was wrong, as people shifted uncomfortably and looked to the

  • In the Face of Anti-Asian Violence, We Want Budget Justice

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    A remembrance for Michelle Alyssa Go (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go was pushed from the Times Square subway platform to her death. This tragedy follows a year that saw a 361% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and came less than two weeks after ...