NEW YORK — After calls for police reform intensified over the past year in New York City, the issue is now at the center of the race for Mayor, particularly as public safety concerns rise along with shooting incidents.
Candidate Maya Wiley held a press conference Tuesday to discuss her policing plan.
“You definitely can’t just do the same old policing the same old way and get the same old results,” she said.
After several candidates called for more police following the shooting of bystanders in Times Square, Wiley pushed back.
“More police officers on the corner has not brought violence down,” she said.
Wiley wants to shift $1 billion away from the NYPD and spend the funding instead on community-based violence prevention programs.
“I’m going to do a top to bottom audit and restructuring of the police department,” Wiley said. “We don’t need the next two incoming cadet classes, we’ve got 36,000 police officers. This is more than when Mike Bloomberg said he had a private army.”
Considered the most progressive candidate in the race, Dianne Morales told PIX11 Tuesday there needs to be a mindset change.
“I believe we really need to move away from the idea of believing that police actually prevent crime,” she said.
Morales has called for the NYPD to be defunded by $3 billion.
“Take for example,” Morales explained, “the electronic robo dogs that we saw a couple of weeks ago, that we saw entering the NYCHA buildings — that is a ridiculous expenditure.”
Fellow City Hall hopefuls Shaun Donovan and Scott Stringer have both said they would redirect $1 billion away from the NYPD over four years.
But with shooting incidents up 93% from this time two years ago, moderates in the race like Ray McGuire are standing by their calls for more officers on the streets.
“Your Grandma Mamie’s got something going down in her home, who she’s going to call, defund?” McGuire asked.