NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams are calling for an investigation if there is an NYPD work stoppage and to what extent crime has risen as a result.
The allegations of a widespread slowdown have been borne out by a nearly doubling of shootings over the summer and news reports of an upward trend in NYPD response times for crimes in progress, they said.
"There is a perception among members of the public, as well as elected officials, that rising violence in the city can be attributed to a work slowdown, but the reality matters more than the perception," Torres said. "The NYPD is making fewer gun arrests, is solving fewer gun cases and responding more slowly to gun crimes in progress."
Torres and Adams said some NYPD officers may be protesting local and state reforms that have been passed in the wake of mass demonstrations surrounding the murder of George Floyd.
NYPD Commissioner Dermott Shea says budget cuts are impacting how quickly officers can respond and how well they can do their jobs.
"This is about math. and it's really not that complicated, from my point of view. Let's go back to June 30th and the weeks leading up to it when we had conversations about defunding the police - 60% cut in overtime. You are talking hundreds of millions of dollars taken out of the budget. That budget went directly to taking cops off the street, essentially. you are talking thousands less officers, Shea said. "I would equate this to a fire raging in the building and you turn off the hose for the firemen, shutting the hose. Taking cops off the street leading up to the most violent time of the year, when we have the fewest criminals in city and state jails, and I would ask anyone, what did you expect was going to happen?"
Violent crime has risen significantly over the past few months.
The NYPD reported 29 shooting incidents with 35 victims over the last weekend (Friday-Sunday). The same weekend last year has 6 shooting incidents with 6 victims.
Through Sunday, the city has recorded 292 homicides compared to 217 homicides at the same point last year.
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