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Mayoral Candidates, Gov. Hochul, Others Grapple With How To End The Violence On New York City Streets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The chaos on the streets of New York City continues. Over the weekend there was more teen gun violence and a tragic death of a nurse after she was pushed onto the ground in Times Square, police say, by a mentally ill homeless person.

On Monday, CBS2's Marcia Kramer demanded answers from elected officials at the Columbus Day Parade, and has more on what they said they will do to combat the problem.

It seems that there are no easy answers to the perception that city streets are frequently unsafe, but a number of politicians either running for office or trying to hold on to their current jobs offered suggestions for changing the dynamic.

And when it comes to the blame game, well, Mayor Bill de Blasio is squarely in the crosshairs.

"We have precipitously dropped so quick in terms of the loss of quality of life and violent crime," Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa said.

Sliwa said there's no doubt that the city is out of control, The tragic death of former oncology nurse Maria Ambrocio, who was pushed to the ground in Times Square by a reportedly mentally ill homeless man who police say was on the run after stealing a phone is just one example.

The continued teen gun violence is another. It was shocking to see the picture of one suspect, who police say is no older than 13. Video from an incident shows him holding a weapon he's accused of using to shoot a 13-year-old on the Hunts Point Playground.

"I hold de Blasio, de Basio first and foremost," Sliwa said.

Being a Republican, Sliwa isn't afraid to speak the mayor's name out loud. But even if he didn't use the word "de Blasio," Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams made it clear it's the current mayor's fault.

"Again & again," Adams tweeted, "We are seeing the deterioration of our city & we cannot allow this to continue. The tragic death of Maria Ambrocio is the failure of our entire public safety eco-system, including the failure to identify dangerous people & get them off the street & into facilities."

Sliwa said those facilities should include unused space in state mental institutions.

"You have Kirby Psychiatric, a state facility on Randall's Island. It's only half used. You have Creedmor in the northern part of Queens near the Northern Boulevard. It's partly used," Sliwa said.

"We have to find a place for them to get treatment off the streets," Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

Before she marched in the Columbus Day Parade, Hochul was asked by Kramer if she, too, wanted to use state psychiatric facilities.

"There are different ways to get treatment and we have to be smart about how we've done this," Hochul said.

Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi, also reportedly eying a gubernatorial run, said we need to reach kids with drug, alcohol and mental health issues at early age.

"Eric Adams had a great line in his campaign. He said we spend a lifetime pulling people out of the water. We need to go upstream and stop people from falling in the water in the first place," Suozzi said.

Mayor de Blasio offered stock platitudes, nothing concrete.

"There are so many people in need, we've got to find them. We've got to get them the help they need. That's the bottom line. All of us, the city, the state, the federal government, we all need to do more," de Blasio said.

Among the things the mayor didn't mention was the first lady's controversial "Thrive" program or changing the way the NYPD addresses gun violence.

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