NEW YORK CITY — The NYPD reported a decrease in shooting incidents almost citywide on Wednesday, but while progress has been made, New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams says there’s still more work to be done, which is why he plans to bring back the department’s controversial plainclothes unit.
Jackie Rowe, who lost two sons to gun violence years ago, agrees. She’s part of a long growing group of mothers going through the same pain. So in Rowe’s eyes, Adams’ plan to bring back the NYPD’s anti-crime unit is needed now more than ever.
“It is out of control. Yes, bring back anti-crime, yes,” she told PIX11 News on Wednesday. “That anti-crime unit needs to come back; it should never have left, but it didn’t have enough training.”
For years, the NYPD rolled out anti-crime units on a citywide level and from local precincts. These officers, who are not in uniform, patrolled the city in unmarked cars.
Their mission was to identify and stop people from carrying illegal guns, before situations turn deadly. However, the units became known for using controversial tactics such as stop and frisk and were accused of aggressively targeting people of color and violating civil rights.
After years of complaints from communities, the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and a summer of protesting abuse at the hands of police, the NYPD disbanded the anti-crime units last year at the precinct level.
Adams said he plans to bring back the units — but better.
“I’m going to hold those accountable who are abusive, if you are not the finest you can’t be in the finest agency,” Adams told PIX11 News on Wednesday.
The mayor-elect also vowed the units would undergo more training, better supervision and body-worn cameras.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday stood by his dismantling of the anti-crime units. He said the NYPD has been successful making arrests using other tools.
“I also respect that the mayor-elect has a vision and I think it is a well informed vision,” de Blasio added.