NEW YORK (WABC) -- This weekend, Mayor Eric Adams is holding a summit with dozens of city leaders to figure out what to do about crime in New York City.
Critics, supporters, and experts will be at Gracie Mansion to look at how to fix what isn't working - from the borough's five DAs to the police commissioner to the legal aid society as well as top city officials, academic experts, and community violence interrupters like Pastor Staci Ramos, founder of Harlem Clergy-Community United & Beyond.
"We've got to really hit the corners, hit the deep blocks. Hit inside NYCHA. And we've got to really pull them out and really talk to them where they feel safe to talk to us, and we've got to say 'what's going on?' - and they'll tell you," said Ramos.
Her faith-based organization and groups like Harlem Mothers Save are constantly working on the ground to prevent crime - gun violence in particular, so it is frustrating to see the uptick that came with the pandemic.
"Long COVID is not only your health, it's part of the mental status of everyone, so you're seeing a great uptick in that. But as we start to go a little bit on the decline, we should not see crime continuously rise this way," Ramos added.
Shootings and homicides were down last month compared with the last couple of years, but not to pre-pandemic levels. Other crimes like robbery, auto theft, and gun arrests are up - as well as attacks on the subways.
Mayor Adams says the goal will be to improve both the reality and the perception of safety.
"It is the combination of ensuring that we deal with the actual violence but also people must feel safe in the city," said Adams.
Pastor Ramos says one way to do that is to make better use of community council meetings with police precincts. Something she plans to bring up at this citywide summit.
"If we get everybody in that room and we get them unified and the ones that are already doing amazing work, thank you. And for those that need a little bit more, let's get the room solid. Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens - how are we going to stop this crime?" Ramos said.
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