NEW YORK - A local lawmaker from the Hudson Valley has issued a travel warning for New York City because of the rise in the number of shootings and other violent crimes.
Anil Beephan Jr. is an East Fishkill council member. He took to Facebook to share a personal travel advisory. "Due to the rising rate of violence other major crimes in New York City, area residents should exercise increased caution while traveling to “hotspot” areas."
Earlier this month, there was a 277 percent rise in shootings across the city from the same time last year.
"My town is located about an hour and a half north of Manhattan," said Beephan during FOX 5 morning program, 'Good Day New York.' "A significant portion of our residents commute into the city for work, recreation and education. When I see headlines that 64 people are shot in a weekend, I get concerned."
In his advisory, Beephan wrote:
"Due to the disbandment of the anti-crime unit, NYPD plainclothes unit coupled with criminal justice reforms, officers/judges have limited ability to provide adequate services and protections from crime victims."
The NYPD Anti-Crime Unit was disbanded after protests and looting rocked the city and bail reform was enacted earlier this year.
Beephan said he is not pointing fingers at police.
"Our police go through so much. This is definitely not on their shoulders. I believe they are doing everything they can to protect and serve the community that they've sworn to do," said Beephan.
Beephan lists the 'hotspots' as The Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Staten Island was not included.
"Under the new law that beginning earlier this hear, bail can only be set for those accused of violent felonies and a handful of other serious crimes while judges can put non-monetary conditions on other defendants believed to be flight risks prior to trial."
Over the weekend, the NYPD began implementing the city-wide violence prevention plan which focuses on hotspot areas where the majority of the violence has been seen but will spread to any other neighborhood that sees an uptick.
"Getting to a point where it's not the police policing the neighborhood, It's community and police working together," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told FOX 5 morning program, Good Day New York. "No one knows the community better than the community. People want a safe city."