NEW YORK (PIX11) — Nearly a quarter of those arrested for slashings and stabbings so far this year in New York City have some form of mental illness, NYPD statistics obtained by PIX11 shows.
About 11 percent of those arrested for shootings are dealing with mental illness, according to the data. As part of a push to address subway crime, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams recently pledged to provide mental health help for those in need.
“Mental health illness and the lack of those supportive services really has led to what we are seeing now and that’s why the team is coming together with a team approach,” Adams said. “You can’t just police your way out of this.”
But the police are working on it. Chief of Patrol Jeffrey Maddrey said officers are trained to respond to incidents involving people with mental illness, but it’s often too late by the time police are called.
“We need help from the communities. We need help from the families,” he said. “If you know a family member is going through some kind of mental illness or mental distress, don’t wait until it’s too far gone if they’re not taking their medication or if they’re becoming violent.
Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere believes part of the problem is an after effect of the pandemic, when resources were not available.
“We are seeing, what we are seeing right now, is people acting out and these are people who don’t want to behave this way, but who are not getting treatment and therefore may not have control of what they are doing,” Dr. Gardere said.