Council Speaker Johnson supports Finance chair who clashed with NYPD commish on OT
Letters to the Editor — May 11, 2021
Shea touts overall drop in serious subway crime — despite rise in murders and assaults
NYPD commish insists subway crime is down, says he stopped listening to Cuomo ‘a long time ago’
The NYPD’s solution to the surge in citywide crime?
Throw in the rookies.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea thinks the newest batch of NYPD cops will be the “shot in the arm” the department needs to quell the surge in shootings and violence underground.
But even his own rank and file isn’t convinced.
“We have over 800 officers [who] got out of the academy last week,” the commissioner crowed on NY1 Tuesday morning when asked about combating the soaring crime rates. “We have a second round getting out in about five weeks — that’s going to be a shot in the arm which we are eagerly anticipating.”
But one police officer blasted the top cop’s comments as a “kumbaya moment” — saying rookies are too inexperienced to make a difference in the crime wave.
“How can they be an asset when they don’t know anything?” said the cop, who has two decades on the job. “They don’t even know radio codes yet. The only thing they’re good for is chasing people because they’re more in shape. Other than that, what are they good for? How are they going to make a difference when they don’t know s–t?”
The five boroughs are heading into the hot summer months, when gunplay typically explodes, with an 81 percent increase in shootings this year — 490 incidents compared to 270 last year.
In April, 50 people were shot in a seven-day span alone, marking the most violent week so far this year.
The police source suggested that instead of relying on rookies, Shea should consider reinstating the NYPD’s anti-crime unit, which was disbanded last year, and “let these guys go out here and get guns.”
“Maybe you want to take a rookie with you to teach them,” the cop said. “But just saying a rookie is going to make a difference in these precincts? It’s not going to happen.”
During his NY1 interview, Shea also boasted about “movement on some of our long-term cases” — including the takedown of 18 gang members in Brooklyn earlier month — and cited an increase in gun arrests.
“When you look at the gun arrests that have been made throughout New York City, we have in the first quarter of this year exceeded anything in the prior 20-plus — quite a bit — years,” Shea said. “So now we need those to play themselves out through the court system. We need consequences for those, all of these things are going to come together … as we move forward and the city opens up.”
Meanwhile, Shea also touched on the added police presence in the subway system — which as seen a disturbing uptick in assaults and slashings.
“We’re going to prioritize when ridership is most, but we’re a 24-hour operation, so you should expect to see officers 24 hours a day,” he said. “Certainly we have more ridership during the business hours, rush hour, and it dwindles out as the night goes on, but sometimes that’s when some of the crime happens, so we take all that into account.”
On Friday, a crew of teens slashed three straphangers and punched a fourth in the face in what prosecutors said was a “gang initiation.” The 35-minute spree of violence began at 4:25 a.m.
“You know, different crimes happen at different times of the day in the subways,”
Shea said. “We work very closely with the MTA on all of these issues and we’re going to continue to deliver the best service to New Yorkers.”
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