Shootings have spiked 127% in New York City this year, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio to get it under control, but city officials say liberal pushes to “defund the police” have hindered the NYPD’s ability to keep the city safe.
“Defunding the police is perhaps the worst idea in NYC government history,” Democrat Councilman Robert Holden told Fox News. “We can’t legislate using fashionable slogans that fit on protest signs. It hurts every New Yorker. The NYPD are the gold standard for law enforcement around the world. Any issues that need to be addressed require more training, which costs money.”
The city, however, disagrees, with de Blasio backing a city council vote in July to slash the police budget by $1 billion. Crime has only worsened in recent months and police response times have grown.
Compared to September 2019, shootings last month jumped to 152 from 67, murders increased citywide from 51 to 29, and burglaries climbed to 1,255 from 912, according to the latest New York City Police Department’s crime report released at the beginning of October.
Although shootings and murders are up from their recent lows, they are nowhere near the crime rates of the early 1990s, when over 2,605 people were murdered in New York City.
Holden told Fox News “there is definitely a correlation” between recent social justice reforms and ballooning crime statistics in the city.
“We have had well over 1,000 shootings this year. The deadly combination of closing Rikers, getting rid of cash bail, defunding the police and putting them under the fear of going to jail if they need to apprehend a violent suspect are all part of a pro-crime atmosphere that emboldens violent criminals,” he said.
“Despite the unparalleled challenges they face every day, our officers continue to engage with the community and zero in on the drivers of crime,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement.
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