NEW YORK — Mayor-elect Eric Adams wants to see the return of community beat cops in New York, a position Adams once held himself as an NYPD officer.
The change is part of his vision for the future of policing across the five boroughs. Beat cops regularly walk around the same neighborhood on patrol.
Adams told the New York Daily News he believes beat cops can help rebuild trust between communities and the NYPD. He said they would be especially effective in neighborhoods with low levels of confidence in the police department.
John Jay professor Keith Ross, who was an NYPD beat cop in Queens public housing, said his consistent presence helped deter crime. He described beat cops as jacks of all trades.
“Sometimes those old ideas that stood the test of time, there must be a reason for it,” he said.
Reverend Kirsten John Foy, who’s been a police reform activist in the city for decades, said he wasn’t convinced beat cops were the answer to improving community-police relationships. He noted that he believed the police force would need to approximately double in size for a successful beat cop model.
“And so it could be a Trojan horse to invest more and increase more dollars and resources for the police department,” he said.
Beat cops aren’t the only way Adams wants to chance the NYPD. He’s also called for the return of more plainclothes, anti-crime officers. Some of the city’s anti-crime units were disbanded over concerns of their use of force.
Adams believes they can be brought back with better oversight and increased training.
“I’m going to hold those accountable who are abusive. If you are not the finest you cannot be in the finest department,” he told PIX11 News just after Election Day.