Mayor Adams Lays Out His New Vision for the NYPD
By Yehudit Garmaise
Mayor Eric Adams laid out yesterday afternoon, at the 103rd Precinct in Queens, some of his vision for how his NYPD will be different from the ways in which the department was led under the previous administration.
“Cops did not feel encouraged to deal with quality-of-life issues,” Adams explained. “You can’t have a city when people can walk into stores, take whatever they want off the shelves, and walk out, and no one is responsible. That is not acceptable.”
Adams also wants to provide more support to the police officers.
“We want to tell the police officers that we have their backs,” Adams said, “but there is a covenant we are establishing: where we give them the tools and the support we need, but we are also going to hold them to a high standard.
“We are not allowing abusive officers to come to our ranks.
“I know how hard this job is.”
Knowing what city protests are like from the perspective of the police, Adams then said, “When there are protests, there are things that cannot be done to police officers who are there to protect people, and also, the officers can’t be abusive.”
When asked about how to deal with criminals who are repeatedly arrested for petty crimes, Adams said that “it does not make sense” to send such people to Riker’s.
“A person who has committed a petty theft inside a grocery store: he comes inside and is arrested,” Adams said: laying out a common scenario.” Right there at the scene, we identify this person as a mental health issue, or we do a briefing and find out whether this person is homeless or whether this person is hungry.
“Why not, from the precinct, call a local community police officer, who is already on the list?” Adams proposed. “Call a local organization, and if that person is willing to go for those services, let’s defer prosecution.”
Adams also refuted some public sentiment from the far left “that you can‘t have both public safety and justice.”
“We are going to prove them wrong,” Mayor Adams. “New York wants to see the police as a part of their communities.”
Adams explained how he wants to focus more on preventative policing by incentivizing for promotions “police officers who are good crime preventers not just good crime responders.”
Adams also promised that his city agencies will work in better partnerships with the members of the City Council, who need to get their phone calls returned more quickly.
Adams’ informed thoughtfulness about policing in New York City, of course, comes not just from his 22 years as a transit cop, but from his experience as a teenager, when he was brutalized by police officers at the same precinct station from which he spoke yesterday.
In fact, yesterday was only the second time, after making a commercial for his mayoral campaign, that Adams has allowed himself to return to the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens, where he had many traumatic memories.
“Today, I feel great,” said Adams brightening with a smile. “I don’t know whether it is because I knew that the new commissioner [Sewall, who want standing right next him] would not let anything happen to me, so I just felt safer.”
“We have to turn pain into purpose,” said Adams, who added, “the wrong police officer” can “destroy the trust” of the people, “the right police officer, with the right mindset, and the right vision, can transform an entire community: and that was my desire.”