Safe Summer NYC aims to combat gun violence, promote partnership with community

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Safe Summer NYC initiative on Tuesday.

He said it's the city's comprehensive plan to end gun violence and bring New York City back from the COVID-19 crisis.

Safe Summer NYC will deter gun violence with real consequences for picking up a firearm and create disincentives to turning to a life of crime by providing real, positive alternatives for young people.

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Mayor de Blasio said cooperation between community, cops, and courts drives this vision for Safe Summer NYC.



With a focus on the Community, Cops, and Courts & Justice System, the plan has three distinct components: increased investment in communities, strategic police presence in targeted areas, and greater coordination across the justice system. The mayor outlined the plan before turning to the Chief of Department and the Queens and Brooklyn district attorneys for more on the initiative.

COMMUNITY: Investing in Neighborhoods
- Double Cure Violence workforce across 31 sites
- Double Summer Youth Anti-Violence employment slots from 800 to 2000, both during the summer and throughout the year
- Launch Operation Safe Parks and Gang-Free Zones-a partnership between the NYPD and community stakeholders-to provide safe, protected places for people to congregate free from violence and with peace-of-mind
- Host Saturday Night Light games at 100 sites citywide
- Completely refurbish 15 basketball courts at NYCHA developments by August, as well as four basketball courts and a new soccer pitch at Colonel Charles Young Park in Harlem by July
- Increase Tip Rewards up to $5,000 Drive Community Engagement
- Hold anti-violence fairs in 30 neighborhoods across the city

COPS: Strategic, Precise Deployments to Targeted Areas

- Precise police presence to prevent gun violence by targeting gangs and crews with a focus on the 100 blocks with the highest rates of gun violence
- Enhance patrol strength ahead of summer by shifting approximately 200 officers from administrative assignments to key areas
- Strengthen federal partnerships embedded with NYPD to perform rapid tracing of firearms used in crimes and prevent the proliferation of illegal guns on city streets
- Expand the Community Solutions Program, a strategy that uses community-based organizations, City services, and NYPD response to connect community members to resources and improve their neighborhoods
- Expand ShotSpotter by 8.78 square miles
- Re-Launch Ceasefire, a program that uses credible messengers to deliver a strong message to high-risk populations with the goal of decreasing violence without increasing arrests and incarceration
- Launch a Gun Buyback Advertising Campaign

"A partnership approach is going to be the strategy for 2021," Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said. "Making sure there's dialogue making sure there's communication, what are the issues and how can we fix them together."

COURTS: Coordinate Across the Justice System
- Work with the Courts to implement its comprehensive plan to expand in-person operations

- Launch a collaboration between DAs, NYPD, and MOCJ to mobilize resources focused on the most serious gun cases.
- Unveil the NYC Joint Force to End Gun Violence-composed of members of NYPD, Cure Violence providers, District Attorney offices, the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, City agencies, local community groups, and law enforcement organizations-to bring an individualized, sustained focus on likely shooters. The Joint Force will launch in Queens and soon expand citywide
- Create enhanced services and supervision for pretrial defendants for gun possession cases, which must be matched by State action to support more people on parole across the city

Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said that 1% of the population is responsible for 60-70% of the city's most serious street violence.

"If we can focus in on that group of people who are terrorizing our city we can have safety," he said. "We can get back to that record level of safety that we enjoyed before the pandemic."

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz praised the plan and thanked the mayor saying, "Putting your actions behind these words we thank you."

The city also announced the funding of the NYPD's 116th Precinct in the South Jamaica neighborhood, and a community center.

"It's a big step in the right direction," Harrison said.

Harrison also reminded the public of a city hotline where information leading to a recovered illegal firearm can earn a reward of up to $1,000. The number to call is 866-GUN-STOP.

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