Mayor Adams Puts The Brakes On City Council’s Safety Gamble

January 19, 2024

 Following vocal opposition from faith leaders, community advocates, business organizations, district attorneys, law enforcement professionals, and everyday New Yorkers.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today vetoed Intro. 586-A, which could make New York City less safe by forcing New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers to spend more time filling out reports after Level 1 interactions with the public instead of patrolling the street and keeping the public safe.

Under the Adams administration, overall crime — including violent crime — was down in 2023. However, Intro. 586-A could slow NYPD police response times, erode years of progress building police-community relationships and preventing crime through community-oriented policing, and add tens of millions of dollars in additional NYPD overtime each year, while Mayor Adams looks to lessen spending on overtime.

“As young men, my brother and I were beaten by the police in the basement of a local precinct, but I turned my pain into purpose and joined the police force to effect change from within the system. And, in my time as a police officer and throughout my career in public service, I have fought for transparency and against abusive policing tactics that targeted communities of color. While Intro. 586 has good intentions behind it, the bill is misguided and compromises our public safety,” said Mayor Adams. “Our administration supports efforts to make law enforcement more transparent, more just, and more accountable, but this bill will handcuff our police by drowning officers in unnecessary paperwork that will saddle taxpayers with tens of millions of dollars in additional NYPD overtime each year, while simultaneously taking officers away from policing our streets and engaging with the community. That is why I am vetoing this legislation today. I ask my colleagues in government to please work with our administration to improve public safety because New Yorkers want their police out on patrol — taking criminals off our streets and keeping them safe.”

“The hardworking men and women of the NYPD are energized by the fact that New York City has a mayor who steadfastly supports the goals of our public safety mission, which is to eradicate violence and disorder while simultaneously enhancing the quality of life of all the people we serve,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “We know that good policing is all about accountability and, as the largest municipal police department in the nation, the NYPD is already our country’s most intently watched, deeply scrutinized, and openly transparent law enforcement agency. The measure vetoed by the mayor today is an overreach that would result in the unintended consequence of literally slowing down the city’s progress. On our watch, there is a continuation of lower overall crime, including a reduction in bellwether indicators like murder, burglary, and assault. We just ended a year in which NYPD officers reduced shooting incidents citywide by a factor not seen in nearly 30 years. And as of this week, index crimes in New York City have dropped another 5 percent compared to last year — and an incredible 74 percent from three decades ago. Each day and night, NYPD officers carry on the dangerous, critical work of fighting crime on the streets. Terrorist plots have also been thwarted, and there is a renewed commitment among our rank and file to further build trust and strengthen relationships in every community. These vital efforts will continue — and must continue, unimpeded by bureaucratic time-wasting tasks — because that is what New Yorkers expect and deserve.”

In 2023, the city saw a drop in overall crime, including five of the seven major crime categories, a 12 percent decline in homicides, and a 25 percent decrease in shooting incidents. Crime has fallen as a result of proactive strategies deployed by the Adams administration, including the continued focus on community-oriented policing, and plans to crack down on auto thefts, retail thefts, and gun violence through a $500 million blueprint to keep communities safe.

The NYPD also made the most grand larceny auto arrests in 20 years, shut down more than 50 illegal smoke shops while seizing more than $23 million in illegal products, and took more than 6,500 illegal guns off the street last year — including the highest number of 3D-printed ghost guns in New York City history — bringing the total number of firearms taken off New York City streets to more than 13,700 since the start of the Adams administration.

Photo credit: HWM.

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