Mayor Eric Adams rolling out more Neighborhood Safety Teams after rash of weekend violence
NEW YORK -- Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced an increase in anti-gun teams on the street.
This as some experts wonder if the continued increase in crime will stall New York City's recovery from the pandemic, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.
Adams, a former police captain, tried to put the best face on the city's worsening crime wave, but anyway you look at it, the crime wave is not good for business in the Big Apple, and the guy at the top knows it.
"We have to get it right," Adams said.
It was a dog and pony show. The mayor praised the work of his new Neighborhood Safety Teams, which made two good arrests over the weekend -- a gang member with a loaded gun and someone involved in a shooting in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.
"In just the first days of their existence, the Neighborhood Safety Team members have affected 31 arrests as the mayor stated, including 10 for gun possession in nine separate incidents," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
But two good collars, to use police vernacular, don't add up to the equation of bloodshed that hit the city this past weekend.
In the tally of gun crimes, alone, there were 35 people shot in 30 incidents.
But that's only part of the weekend crime story. There were also stabbings, assaults, and an attempted rape.
Then on Monday, surveillance video showed people running for their lives on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, as shots rang out from a nearby vehicle. Police said a 7-year-old girl was walking with her family when she was grazed by a stray bullet.
"We're coming into a rough time of the year, too. I mean, this was the fist warm sort of weekend that we had. All I can say is New York City brace yourself. Summer is coming, because this is going to be, I think, an off-the-charts kind of summer," said Joe Giacalone of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The latest crime statistics since Mayor Adams took office are grim. Shooting victims are up 17 percent, 284 since Jan. 1, compared to 242 last year. Robbery is up 45 percent -- 3,351 compared to 2,302. Grand larceny up 60 percent, 10,415 compared to 6,484. Transit crime is up 75 percent -- 504 versus 288.
All this is a gigantic problem for a mayor trying to restore the city's economic health and convince people to come back to work in Midtown office towers. Giacalone says crime will stall the comeback.
"Absolutely. I think that even probably some of the owners of some of these companies are probably second guessing pushing people back to work," Giacalone said.
Kramer asked the mayor about it.
"What do you say to New Yorkers who say we're afraid? Should we come back to work because crime seems to be unrelenting?"
"The fear that people are feeling, I understand what they're feeling, but we're not going to have a city out of control," Adams said.
"Thirty shooting incidents, 35 different victims and that wasn't all, so it's sending a message that despite the work people are doing we're still having high levels of crime?"
"Crime is a Titanic. Crime is an ocean liner. You have to start changing the mindset on the street. You have to start understanding that what were doing in the past is not what is going to happen now," Adams said.
The mayor announced that five more anti-gun teams are going to be hitting the streets. That means they will soon be in 33 different police precincts.
But in Harlem, where the teams are expanding, some residents say they are wary of the added officers.
"There's a lot of gun crime here, so I think it'll be good if police expand this program," Fabien Maurin told CBS2's Ali Bauman.
"We need them, but not the profiling. The presence, sometimes they look at me weird. I'm a working person, but I have dreadlocks, so they need not to profile us so much," Robert March said.
"Most police officers do not respect the community the way they should," another resident added. "I think a lot of senior police officials need to be removed for that attitude, to be removed from the NYPD."
for more features.