New York City mayor Eric Adams (D.) on Monday unveiled a new plan to combat gun violence that included no goals for hiring new police officers for a force hemorrhaging personnel.
The "Blueprint for Community Safety," released by the city’s gun violence task force, will pour almost $500 million into housing, employment, and mental health programs without a cent toward putting new cops on the street. The mayor said boosts for social programs will help to "stop the violence before it happens on our streets."
"Our city must start intervening earlier, focusing on positive youth development, before it’s too late," Adams said at a City Hall press conference Monday.
The plan comes as the city’s police department is bleeding officers at record rates, with more officers leaving in January and February than any year’s first two months since a contract dispute in 2007, according to the New York Post. The mass exodus in those two months was a 117 percent jump from two years prior.
A 2016 Obama administration report points out that "expanding resources for police has consistently been shown to reduce crime; estimates from economic research suggest that a 10 percent increase in police force size decreases crime by 3 to 10 percent."
While shootings in New York City have fallen sharply since last year, they remain significantly higher than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayor last month blamed media coverage for New Yorkers’ crime fears. Adams was responding to a Siena College poll that found 41 percent of New York State residents have never felt as concerned about their safety as they do now, with 87 percent saying crime is a very or somewhat serious problem in the city and state.