On Monday, New York City’s new mayor vowed to end the gun violence invading his city by reviving a disbanded police unit.
On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams said he would bring back the undercover police unit, inject cash into community projects, and dismantle weapons trafficking networks.
Last Friday, 22-year-old police officer Jason Rivera was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call in Harlem. Rivera is the first officer killed by gunfire since July 2017.
Adams, a former captain in the NYPD, said Rivera’s murder should be a catalyst for the city’s actions against the surge in violent crime.
“We are going to do a lot more than pray. We are going to turn our pain into purpose,” he said in Monday’s press conference. “We will not surrender our city to the violent few.”
Since January 1, there have been 73 shootings, an increase of 23.7% over last year. Eighty-two people have been shot, 15 more victims than the first three weeks of 2021.
On Monday, Adams presented his plan called “The Blueprint to End Gun Violence.” It is a 15-page plan to tackle violence on the streets through the courts and state and federal legislature.
“New York City has been tested to its core in the first month of 2022,” the plan says. “These weeks have been among the most violent in recent memory, most of it caused by a crisis of gun violence that continues to plague our communities.”
Adams said the NYPD would bring back undercover police squads, called the Anti-Crime Units. His predecessor, Bill de Blasio, disbanded the unit in July 2020 as part of a liberal effort to defund the police.
The revived unit will now be known as the Neighborhood Safety Team and launch in the next three weeks. The NYPD will target 30 precincts where Adam’s said 80% of the violent crimes occur.
Adams stated that the undercover officers would be somehow identifiable to the public as police officers and be equipped with body cameras.
He also promised an expansion of the Gun Violence Suppression Division and more police patrolling the streets.
“We will have boots on the ground on every block in this city,” the mayor said.
Adams said he would crackdown on the “iron pipeline” bringing guns into the city. He said he would be allocating more resources to teams performing spot checks to prevent gun trafficking.