Faced with an unprecedented surge in shootings across the five boroughs, which has resulted in countless injuries and even the killing of a 1-year-old, the NYPD on Friday launched the End Gun Violence plan that targets high-crime areas.
"We know exactly where to put the cops. And it's not an entire neighborhood, it's two square blocks," said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
The NYPD won't be adding officers, but rather is shifting them. There will be more cops in areas with high numbers of shootings and more detectives sent to investigate shootings Additionally, the community affairs bureau will be reorganized and more more gun buy-back events will be hosted.
Officers will be moved away from big target areas that are frequented by tourists. The number of officers needed in those areas has been greatly reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has hampered tourism of any kind in the city.
In addition to the new plan coming after the gun violence surge, it comes just days after protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge attacked NYPD officers, leaving some bloodied.
"I think the constant refining of that effort is part of this, and then getting many more cops to be present as a deterrent," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Community and religious leaders from around NYC gathered to let the city know: that's just the start.
"Rape is up. Shootings are up. There's a whole lot of things going on in our city that we just can't tolerate anymore. And we're here to fight that all, and join our police in doing that," said community activist Tony Herbert.
"When a 1-year-old is killed, a 12-year-old is paralyzed, we welcome the additional police force to stop the crime, and we say kudos to the mayor — but we need to sit down with the mayor," said Bishop Gerald Seabrooks.
Another community leader, who is also a former NYPD officer, said he wants de Blasio to bring back the anti-crime units that were disbanded earlier this year. There are some who believe that the uptick in shootings is at least partly due to that unit, which was made up of 600 plainclothes officers who were responsible for 50 percent of gun arrests in 2019, being taken off the streets.