Mayor Eric Adams credited the anti-gun crime unit he brought back earlier this year for a downturn in gun crime at a press conference in Brooklyn on Monday.
Recent NYPD stats show that shootings across the city were down 6.5 percent compared to this time last year. However, NYPD data also shows that major crimes—a category that includes seven different kinds of felonies including rape and grand larceny—-were up a whopping 38 percent from last year. Murder was the only individual major crime category that showed a citywide decrease of nine percent.
The anti-gun crime unit, dubbed the “Neighborhood Safety Team”, is a revamped version of the city’s plainclothes unit, which was disbanded due in 2020 to its involvement in shootings across the city. According to a 2018 report from the investigative journalism outlet, The Intercept, while plainclothes officers represented only six percent of the force they were responsible for 31 percent of all fatal shooting incidents.
Mayor Adams made good on his campaign promise of reinstating the unit back in January.
Adams stated that the teams will avoid previous mistakes by requiring officers to turn on their body cameras when interacting with the public and wearing windbreakers that make officers more identifiable as cops.
The Neighborhood Safety Teams have seized 105 firearms and effected 115 gun arrests since their start in March, according to NYPD.
“If we do the work to get it to the grand jury, to get that indictment, to make that arrest — then the other team must do their part,” Adams said at the press conference. “If we do the work to get it to the grand jury, to get that indictment, to make that arrest — then the other team must do their part.”
Mayor Adams placed blame on Albany lawmakers for not passing stronger restriction to bail reform.
“We would have liked to receive more, like the dangerousness standard. That’s so important. You have one of these guys that come in front of you or someone is arrested nine times. I think the judge should make the determination, this person presents an imminent threat to the city,” Adams said.
However, a report from progressive comptroller Brad Lander published last March, found that bail reform was not responsible for the increase in crime.
Adams noted that he will be pushing for the dangerous standard to be included in the next legislative session.