De Blasio: August 2021 was one of the safest Augusts on record in NYC; calls for full reopening of court system

NYPD police cruiser

File photo of an NYPD police cruiser (PIX11 News)

NEW YORK — As New York City continues to fight crime in the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that August 2021 was one of safest Augusts on record.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday the NYPD has been pushing back violence over the last three months and they are “pulling in the right direction.”

The number of murders and shooting incidents in the city declined this August compared to August 2020, according to NYPD crime statistics. 

By the end of the year, they hope to continue to bring down the number of shootings.

The decrease in overall crime in the city decreased by 5.4% — 8,824 compared to 9,330 — in August, and gun arrests have dramatically increased compared to the last two years.

“Since the beginning of the summer, the trend is going down,” Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said.

Murders, robberies, felony assaults and burglaries have all declined this year compared to August 2020, NYPD statistics said.

Over the last few months, the NYPD has focused on precision policing to reduce violence across the five boroughs, according to the agency.

The overall number of index crimes reported in the city through August is the lowest tally for the first eight months of any calendar year since the start of the modern CompStat that began nearly 30 years ago, according to the NYPD. 

Despite a decrease in crime, Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Shea have continued their calls for the Court System to fully reopen.

“It’s a lot of work,” Shea said. “We need to be swifter in the criminal justice system that when cases build on those individuals … we’ve got to get them removed as quickly as possible.” 

“We need the whole thing to function,” de Blasio said, referencing that hospitals, the NYPD and FDNY were among the many industries who were not able to shut down during the pandemic, so the state needs to find a way to get the Court System reopened. 

“If it’s OK to not have a fully functioning court system, then why did we have one to begin with?” de Blasio asked. “What was its purpose to begin with?”

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