Have any of the front-running mayoral candidates noticed New York City’s intense crime problem? It sure doesn’t seem so.
Shootings surged in February, despite the record snowfalls and continuing lockdowns. And that followed a 40 percent hike in murders in 2020 over the previous year — and a doubling of shooting incidents.
Do any of our mayoral candidates care?
Andrew Yang is in first place in the polls, and he should prove he’s a real New Yorker by actually speaking to our crime problem — instead of showing us around bodegas. In a piece for the New York Daily News, Yang laid out his vision for fighting crime in New York City and it involves getting tough on . . . police.
Noting a drop in solved crimes between 2019 and 2020, Yang warns, “In my administration, lieutenants and captains won’t get promoted if they can’t improve these rates.” Yang also wants to force “all new officers to live in the five boroughs.” Not only is that a tough ask, given how expensive the city is; it also limits the pool of possible cops, meaning some better ones may be shut out simply because of where they live.
In June, meanwhile, at the height of the George Floyd protests, city Comptroller Scott Stringer huffed, “It’s time to defund the NYPD now.” His “crime-fighting” ideas all focus on reforming the NYPD — plans Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch called “a collection of progressive buzzwords tailor-made for campaign season.”
Yet that’s basically true for all the frontrunners. Maya Wiley’s crime proposals sound like the police are the criminals. The gibberish on her site includes the line: “Across the country we see policing work as it was intended — to contain and control those that society fears. As a result, trust in police and the government that employs them has eroded.”
Eric Adams, himself an ex-police officer and seen by many as a moderate, has a highly frayed relationship with the NYPD. He was a co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, a group set up to bash the department relentlessly for its treatment of minority officers.
Last month, Adams speculated that it might have been a fellow police officer who shot at him in 1996. He offered no evidence for this.
None of the four front-runners has a clue how to fight crime in the city. They’re all attacking the force, the people who actually do the crime-fighting, instead.
COVID and the Black Lives Matter protests paved the way for a lot of progressive policies to flourish across the country, and now we’re seeing the repercussions. Over the summer, the idiotic cry of “Defund police” was actually taken seriously in some places (including New York). It has been an unmitigated disaster everywhere it’s been tried.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler recently asked city officials to approve $2 million in funding “to bring back police patrols following a large spike in crime rates.” Wheeler himself had disbanded the police department’s Gun Violence Reduction Team, because, hey, he had to defund something. The results were all too predictable.
Minneapolis famously voted to get rid of its police department altogether but failed to accomplish it for procedural reasons. What happened next was also utterly foreseeable: Officers left the force in droves, and crime spiked.
Fighting crime isn’t a conservative issue. It’s everyone’s problem when people are regularly getting killed, robbed or raped in their city. But the left has decided that police are the enemy, and the politicians have let this one-dimensional idea lead to atrocious policy.
That our mayoral candidates are following the fringe off a cliff is a problem for us all.
Remember: One of these people is likely to be our next mayor. If the candidates don’t formulate actual policies to fight crime, instead of police-bashing placeholders, the safe New York City we’ve all enjoyed will be gone.
Cities like ours still need to work to bring back people who fled in the last year and to lure businesses into staying. That won’t happen if we continue to follow absurd policies that sound like a bad joke and result in more dead New Yorkers.