NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday outlined his “blueprint to end gun violence,” just days after an NYPD officer was shot and killed in Harlem.
“We won’t go back to the bad old days,” the mayor vowed, adding: “I know how to do this,” evoking his career in the NYPD.
The mayor said his comprehensive plan addresses each cause of gun violence with immediate actions and long-term initiatives. Adams also renewed his call for the federal and state governments to step up their partnerships with the city to reduce gun violence.
“It will involve the NYPD, every city agency, our courts, and the successful anti-violence Crisis Management System. We are going to involve every community, every precinct, and our state and federal partners,” the mayor said. “New Yorkers will see and feel these changes quickly. We will ramp up enforcement, deploy more officers on the streets and in the subways, and get our courts at full capacity. And we will invest in those longer-term preventions as well: Fixing our broken schools, supporting our unhoused New Yorkers, improving access to mental health services, and changing our laws.”
Thirty of the NYPD’s 77 police precincts account for about 80% of the violence in New York City, according to Adams. Over the next three weeks, the NYPD will deploy neighborhood safety teams to those communities to support public safety units already at work. The teams will have a laser focus on gun violence, the mayor vowed.
“We will avoid the mistakes of the past,” Adams said of bringing back the NYPD’s controversial plainclothes officer unit. “These officers will be identifiable as NYPD, they will have body cameras, and they will have enhanced training and oversight.”
To stem the flow of illegal weapons from the so-called Iron Pipeline into the city, Adams said he plans to partner with the state to implement spot checks at major entry points such as the Port Authority Bus Terminal and other mass transit locations.
But the mayor was also clear that preventing gun violence is not just the work of the NYPD. Noting the some-250,000 people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are unemployed, Adams announced an expansion of the city’s summer youth employment program to help at-risk youth.
“With a goal of identifying a paid internship opportunity for every young person who wants one,” he added.
New York City Public Advocate Jumaane William also released a plan for public safety across the five boroughs. He called for more funding for the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence as well as for grassroots organizations.
“The office should also divert budgetary resources into expanding public safety councils, mobile trauma units, and hotspot areas all know where those areas are, where engagement strategies require deeper support structures,” Williams said.
Adams’ address came three days after a gunman opened fire on two NYPD officers responding to a domestic incident between a mother and her adult son at a Harlem apartment on Friday evening. Officer Jason Rivera, 22, was killed and officer Wilbert Mora, 27, was left fighting for his life, police have said.
The suspect, identified by police as Lashawn McNeil, 47, tried to flee the apartment but was shot multiple times by a third police officer, who was not shot during the incident, according to investigators. He died of his injuries on Monday, Adams announced at the end of his news conference.
McNeil was on probation for a 2003 drug conviction in New York City. He also had several out-of-state arrests, including allegedly assaulting a police officer in Pennsylvania.
On Wednesday, a baby girl was shot in the face in the Bronx. The 11-month-old girl was in a parked car with her mother when an unidentified suspect chased another unidentified individual and opened fire, striking the baby, officials said. She was shot in her left cheek and spent her first birthday recovering in the hospital.
The shootings were the latest in a string of crimes that have unnerved New Yorkers. In the three weeks since Adams took office, a 19-year-old cashier was shot to death as she worked a late-night shift at a Burger King and a woman was pushed to her death in a subway station. With the Harlem shooting Friday night, four police officers had been shot in as many days.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press as well as PIX11’s Aliza Chasan, Nicole Johnson, Shirley Chan.