Mayor Adams unveils New York City's 'Blueprint to end Gun Violence' to combat crime

4 officers shot in as many days after deadly shooting in Harlem

Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Mayor Adams unveils NYC's 'Blueprint to end Gun Violence'
Josh Einiger has more on New York City Mayor Eric Adams' new plan to stop gun violence, called "Blueprint for Safety."

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled his new plan to stop gun violence, called the "Blueprint to End Gun Violence."

The new mayor detailed his tough stance on crime, which he promised while running for office and after several high-profile shootings just 24 days into his time into office.

Adams said his blueprint will immediately ramp up enforcement and deploy more officers in the streets and subways.

"We will have boots on the ground in every corner of the city," Adams said.

As part of the plan, the controversial anti-crime street unit -- where officers dress as civilians to get guns off the street -- is being reinstated. But the mayor says his anti-crime unit will be a hybrid version of what we've seen in the past, focusing on neighborhood safety.

The unit was dismantled in 2020 after its tactics were declared unconstitutional. Civil rights advocates argued too many innocent people of color were targeted.

The mayor says in this unit, officers will wear body cameras, they'll focus on criminals and there will be consequences for officers who overstep.

"New Yorkers feel as if a sea of violence is engulfing our city," Adams said. "But as your mayor I promise you I will not let this happen. We will not surrender our city to the violent feud. We won't go back to the bad old days."

The mayor said now is the time for a more aggressive approach.

He also wants to add more officers on patrol on the streets and subways and add more detection efforts at city entry points for the "Iron Pipeline," like spot-checks at entry points like Port Authority and other bus and train stations.

Adams showed the photo of the gun used to fatally shoot NYPD officer Jason Rivera and said he would launch within three weeks anti-violence teams to the 30 most violent precincts to get more illegal guns off the streets.

While the NYPD seized 6,000 illegal guns last year, the mayor noted there is an unyielding flow into New York.

"New guns are arriving by car, by bus and by train everyday," Adams said. He is asking the state and federal governments for help with stopping the entry of guns.

The plan called for additional employment opportunities for young people 16-24 with a particular focus on those in foster care.

Another focus is mental health after the mayor said the mental health crisis that worsened during the pandemic was tied that to worsening gun violence.

There are critics of the mayor's plan who are expressing concern over plain-clothes officers.

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is warning not to return to what he calls the failed policies of the past. He wants community stakeholders to be included in Compstat meetings and update NYPD residential requirements to live in communities they serve.

"We are actually getting a lot of guns of the streets right now so police are doing in that regard are actually doing what we're asking them to do in making these arrests in taking these guns in historic numbers, so I'm not sure what this unit would do more than what's already being done," Williams said.

Part of the mayor's plan includes violence interrupters, civilian community members who will work to ensure that police are not using a heavy hand.

Adams wants to activate every agency and said violence is not just an NYPD problem. He wants to bring in state lawmakers, the federal government district attorneys and the court system.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg gives his take on the violent crimes plaguing New York City.

"The sea of violence comes from many rivers, we must dam every river that feeds this greater crisis," Adams said.

On Sunday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a partnership with the city and NYPD to form the new Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns.

It will bring law enforcement officials from nine states together to tackle the illegal gun issue.

So far, five officers have been shot, one fatally, in New York City this year.

Additionally, an 11-month-old girl was shot in the face and a woman pushed onto the subway tracks and killed.

PBA President Patrick Lynch released the following statement on the mayor's plan:

"For years, we've been calling for real solutions to our violent crime crisis. Mayor Adams has acknowledged the problem and outlined the beginnings of a plan. Now that police officers and crime victims have an advocate in City Hall, the real work begins. In addition to the measures proposed today, we need an immediate rollback of the entire policy regime that penalizes police officers for proactively confronting lawbreakers. We need stiffer penalties, consistently imposed, for gun crimes. And we need more resources to relieve the overstretched cops on the front lines. Mayor Adams is absolutely right that the message on the streets is that there are no consequences for carrying and using illegal guns. We saw the tragic results of that message again on Friday night. It has to change immediately, because we've already lost more than we can bear."

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