After the brazen daylight gunplay in Times Square last weekend, several random subway slashings and the televised debate Thursday night, voters are focused on what the Democratic mayoral candidates are saying about crime and escalating gun violence.
At the debate, Eric Adams reaffirmed why he is The Post’s choice for mayor. Adams has the most experience and offers the clearest plan for bringing the city back from the brink. We separate the rest of the mayoral pack based on the good, the bad and the ugly of their anti-crime proposals and debate performances.
These mayoral wannabes are anti-defund the NYPD; would restore the anti-crime unit; and are dubious of closing Rikers and spending billions on new jails-in-every-borough. But none is as remotely forthright as Adams in noting that the city’s minority communities overwhelmingly want more policing, not less, and in facing down the “defund” idiocy.
The 14-year veteran of city government, former Sanitation commissioner and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s go-to problem-solver has a gun violence response plan that increases the buyback rebate from $200 to $2,000 and wants to increase the size of the NYPD’s Gun Suppression Division. She’s not calling for a rollback of the state’s permissive no-bail law, but Garcia supports giving judges more discretion. She rejects “Defund the police” noise and supports restoring community policing as part of officers’ daily routine.
The former head of Citibank also rejects defunding the NYPD but would appoint a deputy mayor for public safety and vows to overrule his police commissioner if he disagrees with disciplinary decisions in cases of serious misconduct. He also wants to make the NYPD turn over body-camera video within 48 hours of a request from the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
“Nothing works in our city without public safety,” Yang said after the Times Square shooting. “And for public safety, we need the police.” As mayor, he says he’d increase NYPD presence in communities and around subway stops whenever an area sees increases in serious crimes. He’d appoint a “civilian” or “outsider” as police commissioner and give the CCRB final say in making police-discipline decisions. He also vows to re-examine de Blasio’s four-borough jail project.
These candidates fall short on crime-fighting strategies and fail on no-bail reforms.
The self-important former federal housing secretary is clueless about crimefighting. He’d shift some NYPD responsibilities, like school safety, to social workers and wants specialized squads, like the NYPD’s vice unit, disbanded. He’d also limit police use of surveillance tech.
He wants to disband the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group’s Disorder Control Unit, which responded to last summer’s violent protests. And he’s looking to ax the department’s vice squad (which focuses on prostitution and human trafficking) and take cops off traffic-enforcement duties. He also aims to reduce the NYPD budget gradually over the next four years. He’s on record opposing de Blasio’s jails plan but hasn’t said how he’d make up for the lost jail beds when Rikers closes.
Unserious candidates who refuse to talk about the plight of crime victims, instead sputtering about how poverty is the root cause of crime. They offer utopian schemes of replacing cops with violence-interrupters and about closing Rikers without replacement jails.
The lefty former executive director of a Bronx nonprofit pledges to “defund the NYPD” — cutting its budget by more than half — and to remove school safety agents from dangerous city schools. She’d “solve” the problems of communities hardest hit by crime and violence by . . . declaring them “gun-free” zones. The self-avowed “prison abolitionist” promises to close Rikers and not to build new jails.
Morales would eliminate bail and pre-trial detention, and there’s no felony or criminal misdemeanor that she wouldn’t seek to decriminalize, from illegal drug sales to prostitution.
De Blasio’s former counsel pledges fewer cops and more social workers. Her support of civil rights does not extend to the rights of crime victims. She vows to aggressively slash the NYPD’s budget because “trauma” from dealing with cops is a bigger problem than crime. She’d offer $18 million to communities with high rates of gun violence for social programs to stop shootings and would close the Rikers Island jails without building any replacements.