Amid rising crime, mayor and police commissioner tout overall progress
NEW YORK - Fighting crime continues to be a major problem for the NYPD during the pandemic. The latest stats comparing November 2021 to a year ago show overall crime is up 21%. Transit crime is up 106%. Robbery rose 24% and felony assault increased by 11%. However, murders are down by 17%.
"There is so much more to do to make the people in the city feel safe," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday at his last briefing on the city's crime rate with outgoing Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who is retiring at the end of the month.
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Shea continued to point the finger at bail reform and a revolving door of crime.
"We're seeing upticks in all the metrics in terms of people arrested over and over," Shea said. "And it's the same story."
Both the commissioner and the mayor are calling on judges to keep criminals behind bars.
"We do need a culture of consequence, and we've got to get the court system back and running," de Blasio said. "We've got to create a reality where everyone knows there are consequences for their actions."
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In fact, statistics show almost 30% of people arrested for shootings have an open felony case. During the pandemic, the NYPD has grappled with rising crime, racial injustice demonstrations, rioting, looting, and police misconduct.
Shea was asked if the NYPD's actions will define his legacy.
"I consider the work that they did the glue that held the city together through one of the toughest times this city has ever seen," Shea said. "I'm quite confident in my ability and being able to lead this agency in all that we've accomplished. So, I sleep very well at night."
The mayor was also asked about his legacy as he is preparing to leave City Hall.
"Maybe in the way I debated stuff, people found it off-putting. I didn't mean it to be," de Blasio said. "Maybe it's good to acknowledge a little more openly, I've got my share of missteps. I've got my share of mistakes, for sure."