Poll: Majority of New York City Voters Want More Police on the Streets

Police walk through Times Square in New York City (Getty Images)
June 7, 2021

A large majority of likely voters in New York City's Democratic mayoral primary want more cops on the street, according to a recent NY1/Ipsos poll.

Seventy-two percent of likely voters polled in May agreed with the statement "The NYPD should put more officers on the street." And 46 percent said "crime or violence" is the main problem facing the Big Apple.

Spurred by shifting public sentiment over skyrocketing rates of violent crime, Democratic mayoral candidates have abandoned calls from the left wing of their party to "defund the police." Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and a black former police officer, has blamed "a lot of young white affluent people" for the slogan. Andrew Yang, who failed in 2020 as a Democratic presidential candidate, has told voters that "defund the police is the wrong approach for New York City."

In April, crime was up 30 percent in the city when compared with last year, with shooting incidents up 166 percent.

Adams leads the polls with 22 percent, with Yang trailing 6 points behind him. Kathryn Garcia, who worked for Mayor Bill de Blasio and was endorsed by the New York Times, is close behind Yang in third place with 15 percent.

Maya Wiley, a former legal counsel to de Blasio and a former MSNBC contributor, is one of two candidates who support defunding the police, promising to cut $1 billion from the New York Police Department's budget. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), whose district is in Queens and who supports the "defund the police" movement, endorsed Wiley on Saturday at City Hall.

The primary election will be held June 22.