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Mayor Eric Adams' Plan To Address Gun Violence Includes Return Of Plainclothes Police Unit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Eric Adams on Monday introduced a plan to make New York City streets safer.

The mayor announced his blueprint to end gun violence three days after two NYPD officers were shot, one was killed.

Adams' ambitious plan includes, among many things, the return of a modified, plainclothes police unit, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.

Watch The Mayor's Address

The plan calls for assigning officers to neighborhoods where 80% of violence occurs.

Adams called this a pivotal moment in the city's history because public safety is critical to the city's recovery from the COVID pandemic.

"This is my number one priority, keeping you safe. I campaigned on it. I will deliver on it," Adams said. "You have my word."

Whipsawed by gun violence -- the horrific shooting in Harlem of two cops was just the latest in a long string of crimes -- Adams laid out a comprehensive plan that includes jobs for unemployed youth, mental health initiatives and violence interrupter programs.

But the big focus is on cops and fixing the criminal justice system.

"I'm ready for the battle. I'm ready for the battle, and my life experience has prepared me for this moment," Adams, a former NYPD captain, said.

Adams' plan will put plainclothes neighborhood safety units on the streets in 30 precincts where 80% of gun violence occurs. They will be up and running in three weeks, and be outfitted with body cameras to deter abuses.

The plan will increase patrol strength by taking officers off desk duty and attempt to stop guns coming into New York City by bus or train with checks at entry points including train and bus stations in New York and New Jersey.

It will increase the size of gun suppression units, use new technology to identify suspects carrying weapons and expand the partnership between the NYPD and the state police.

One of Adams' most creative ideas is to only pick judges who are committed to keeping violent criminals who use guns off New York City streets.

"This is part of the reform we must do, Marcia, in this dysfunctional city that we're living in," Adams said. "The team will do an analysis of how many judges we can appoint in the next four years. But I'm going to be clear, you cannot bring on the bench your philosophy and your theory. You must bring on the bench keeping this city safe."

The mayor said he supports a proposal made Monday by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams that would require all New York City cops to live within the five boroughs.

Watch: Dick Brennan's 11 p.m. Report On The Mayor's Plan

As CBS2's Dick Brennan reported, Adams said he wants to go to Albany to reform bail laws, but some, including Williams, believe it's not time to reverse some recent reforms.

"There is no data right now that show that those reforms are what's leading to an increase in violence. I want to spend our focus, spend our resources, spend our time in what we know actually works,' Williams said.

Some community leaders said they hope there is outreach by the mayor.

"I'm very cautious about the Anti-Crime Unit being deployed again. That's where the Mayor Giuliani and I parted company," said the Rev. Calvin Butts, the pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church.

Butts said he does have concerns about aggressive policing and how the previous Anti-Crime Unit operated.

"It was very aggressive. It did target young Black men, unfairly I think, so I'm asking the mayor to take very, very, seriously the need for community input from people who have been involved in the police community and safety even longer than he has," Butts said.

CBS2's Dick Brennan contributed to this report.

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