New York City saw another huge increase in gun crimes last month as the NYPD's chief of crime control strategies says the agency is coping with the lowest number of cops on the street in six years.
"There is too much killing," said Avie Pope, a resident of Flatbush, Brooklyn. "I'm tired of it. Every night there's guns shooting."
The city saw a 166% increase in shooting incidents in August – 242 compared to 91 in August 2019, CBS New York reports. In addition, murders are up 47% for the month, with 53 this year versus 36 in August 2019.
Every New York City borough saw an increase in shootings except Staten Island.
"Let's stop the violence. We have grandchildren, children, daughters, sons and it's just gonna get worse if something's not done," Flatbush resident Mitchell Rapp said.
The increase comes as the NYPD has seen a dramatic drop in manpower due to a combination of $1 billion in defund-the-police budget cuts, no overtime, no new police class, and a dramatic increase in the number of police officers retiring.
"We have calculated that approximately 2,000 to 3,000, maybe even 4,000 less officers are out on the streets for any given week," said Michael LiPetri, the NYPD's chief of crime control strategies.
About a quarter of shooting incidents in August were in just five Brooklyn precincts. LiPetri said the precincts were greatly affected by the loss of overtime.
"That's where the overtime was going last summer. The overtime was going to the most violent commands in New York City," LiPetri said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is putting his faith in community violence interrupters, known as Cure Violence groups.
"We've seen stunning success in the past. We know it will take root here again. But everyone is still trying to come back from a massive disruption. We're not going to see an overnight turnaround," de Blasio said.
A.T. Mitchell is with the Cure Violence group "Man Up."
"It's something that we can't take personal responsibility, which is an entire precinct's stats. Our work is concentrated in very small target areas," Mitchell said.
The NYPD said it is sending additional manpower to the most violent precincts and it is proud of the fact that gun arrests have increased.