NYPD commissioner won't support early release of Rikers inmates

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday he won't support the early release of inmates from Rikers Island due to staffing shortage.

Shea was asked about the report by the NY Post of plans by Mayor Bill de Blasio to release scors of inmates. It would be the second time the de Blasio administration would make such a move after 180 inmates were released due to the COVID pandemic and to prevent the spread of the virus last year.

"My latest information is that it is not accurate and I certainly would hope that is the case," said Shea during FOX 5 NY morning program, Good Day New York.

According to the Post, the early release was delayed when the remnants of Hurricane Ida killed 13 people.

"When you go around New York City and you get a mouthful from New Yorker generally they tell you the opposite: get these criminals off the street. I certainly hope that is not the case. As it is, it's extremely difficult to get criminals into Rikers Island. The last thing I would want to see would be more criminals being release," said Shea.

The names of those being released were being guarded closely by the de Blasio administration, according to the paper, to prevent blowback. 

"No, there is no such plan," said de Blasio when asked about the story during a briefing on the pandemic.

Earlier this year construction activities began in Queens on the city's new Borough-Based Jails Program. The program is an $8.3B effort by the city to construct four new, smaller, more humane jails in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens to replace Rikers Island.