“Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences.”
Monday, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that plainclothes crime units will be disbanded and all officers will be reassigned.
Approximately 600 officers will be impacted.
From NBC local news:
The change will affect roughly 600 plainclothes officers, he said, with officers in every precinct being reassigned as the department switches focus to community-based efforts.
“Thankfully, here in New York City, angry demonstrations have turned peaceful. Thoughtful discussions about reform have emerged,” Shea said at a Monday afternoon news conference.
The commissioner said work will still be done to get guns off the street, but through smarter methods, like technology and intel, rather than through things like raids targeted at those suspected of carrying weapons. Intelligence officers will continue working on targeting suspected gang leaders and weapons dealers. Shea also said that the department can do better and be safer for the public and for cops, while admitting he predicts a potential storm cloud ahead as shootings are up city-wide.
“This is 21st century policing. Intelligence, data, ShotSpotter, video” would all be used to help fight crime, Shea said. Community policing relies on residents’ help in identifying the bad actors who are causing problems in neighborhoods.
In response to the change, Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynched bashed the decision and blamed city lawmakers and officials.
“Anti-Crime’s mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence,” Lynch said in a statement. “Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences.”
Shea, who said that the decision was his, said he supports reforming police but still believes defunding the department is the wrong way to go. He also said the results of the decision, including guns, shootings and community relations, will fall on his shoulders.
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