NYC Mayor doubles down, expands anti-crime unit

NYC Mayor doubles down, expands anti-crime unit
AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

One of the more controversial promises that New York City Mayor Eric Adams made on the campaign trail (or at least “controversial” among progressives and liberal Democrats) was that he would reinstate the plainclothes anti-crime units known as the Neighborhood Safety Teams. Those units had been disbanded under Bill de Blasio following complaints by BLM protesters and racial justice advocates who apparently felt that the teams arrested too many Black and Hispanic suspects. Gun crimes and the trafficking of black market guns surged after the units were taken off the streets.

Good to his word, the NSTs were reassembled and deployed last week over the objections of liberal activists. They began producing results almost immediately, during a period where dozens of people were shot on the streets of New York in a single week. And now, after reviewing their initial progress, Adams is doubling down and will expand the NSTs into five additional high-crime neighborhoods. (National Review)

New York City mayor Eric Adams announced Monday that the NYPD will expand an anti-crime unit that was disbanded in 2020 amid the uprising prompted by the murder of George Floyd.

Adams said that the unit, known as Neighborhood Safety Teams, made 31 arrests and confiscated ten guns in the Bronx since it was reconstituted last Monday.

“This is what precision policing is about,” Adams told reporters. The announcement comes after a weekend during which 28 people were shot in the city.

In one nod to progressive activists, the cops in the NSTs will no longer go out in strictly plainclothes attire. They are wearing “modified uniforms” that don’t immediately signal a police presence but do include official emblems identifying them as police officers. They got to work quickly, making more than two dozen arrests and confiscating ten illegal firearms in the Bronx alone during the first week of restored operations.

That’s a pretty good record when you’re just coming out of the gate. And that’s the specialty of these units. They’re out there trying to lock up the triggermen from the gangs and take the illegal handguns and other weapons off the streets. If you’re actually serious about reducing gun crime rates, that’s how you do it. You don’t do it by passing new laws restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens who purchase and register their firearms through the normal channels.

This move is coming at an important time in the city in terms of crime control. The NYPD reported that 284 people had been shot in 2022 as of this past weekend. That’s up significantly from the 215 gun-related incidents during the same period in 2021. Residents have grown increasingly alarmed at the spiraling crime rates, and Adams’ promise to be the “law and order mayor” is widely seen as a major factor in his election.

Still, there’s one other piece to this puzzle that hasn’t been resolved yet. Making that many arrests of gangbangers and taking their illegal weapons away is a great start. But if they aren’t put behind bars and treated seriously, it’s not going to make much of a difference. There are still DAs and prosecutors in New York who remain in the “empty the jails” camp and who may be inclined to cut these shooters loose and undercharge them if they manage to show up for a trial. That part of the puzzle is largely beyond Adams’ control. If it keeps happening he may need help from the Governor or even the voters through recall efforts to finally return some semblance of order to the streets.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on HotAir Video

David Strom 5:21 PM on June 02, 2023