Snowstorms did not Deter NYC Shootings Last Month, NYPD Continues to Get Guns off the Streets
Although February was New York City’s snowiest month in five years, gun violence continued to surge, as crime overall decreased.
In its February 2021 crime report, the NYPD revealed a shocking 75% increase in shootings in the city since the time just before the pandemic started last year.
While NYPD reported reductions in crime from last month in every category but auto theft, the department disclosed that while February 2020 saw 44 shootings, February 2021 saw a whopping 77 crimes involving guns.
The good news is that “gun arrests across the five boroughs remain at record highs,” the NYPD said in its statement. “In the month of February 2021, [the NYPD made] 400 gun arrests. This is an increase of 63.9% compared to February 2020, or 156 more arrests.”
This morning, Mayor de Blasio lauded “the extraordinary efforts on behalf of the NYPD to get guns off the streets,” and the NYPD said it its statement that “the prevalence of gun violence in New York City remains a central focus for the NYPD.
One way that the mayor has said that the NYPD has been “tremendously successful in this city in driving down crime,” is to continue to encourage neighborhoods to work more closely with community police.
“The [police] responses now are about deepening the tie between police and communities, deepening neighborhood policing,” the mayor said.
In recent months, the mayor has introduced many initiatives “to deepen that trust and that connection between police and community,” said the mayor, mentioning the NYPD’s recently unveiled Discipline Matrix and the way in which community members will contribute to the hiring of precinct commanders.
In addition, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Thursday that over the last year, the department had added 12-square-miles of gunshot detection technology called ShotSpotter, which helps to reduce the police response time for shootings by alerting dispatch centers and police officers of gunshot crimes in progress.
“[Shotspotter] isn’t just a scattershot approach to technology or just throwing technology at an issue, what we did is we looked at best-proven technology to deal with the conditions that we had at hand,” said Matt Fraser the Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology.
“Public safety is a big piece of how we come back this year,” said the mayor. “We are going to write a comeback story for the ages.”
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