New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, set to be sworn in for his second term by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on New Year’s Day, attributed the drop in the city’s murder rate to being “strategic” and “putting the cops where the problems were, going after the hardened criminals, focusing like a laser on the biggest problems.”
In 1990, NYC recorded 2,262 murders. This past year to date, there were 284. At the same time in 2016, there had been 329.
That’s the first time the city has recorded fewer than 300 homicides in a year since the 1950s.
On CNN this morning, de Blasio touted “the safest year in New York City in over a half century.”
“Amazing strategic work by the NYPD, an increasingly a partnership between the NYPD and the communities they serve,” he said, adding that former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton implemented CompStat, a statistical tracking system that helps cops focus on hotspots as well as smaller crimes that lead to bigger offenses.
“We have taken that idea, built upon it year after year, NYPD gets better all the time, we are giving them more training more support, more technology. But on top of that, because of a neighborhood policing philosophy, now we have a relationship between police and community that is increasingly is a partnership. So what’s happening? Community members are telling police, proactively, if they know someone has a gun, if they think there’s going to be a problem between gangs, if they think there could be any kind of violence going on,” de Blasio said. “This is giving the police the kind of intelligence, the kind of on the ground information they needed all along – now they have community partners more and more helping them get the job done. It’s making a huge, huge difference.”
After the Halloween terror attack in Manhattan, the mayor warned that people who want to fill Times Square on New Year’s Eve will face “a long day” in frigid temperatures because of the security pen.
“Wear everything you got, wear long underwear, wear everything you got because it is going to be really, really cold out there. It’s going to be a great celebration, very safe,” he predicted. “The NYPD has done an extraordinary job of protecting New Year’s Eve. It’s one of the biggest events in the world each year and we have tremendous precautions in place. But look, it’s going to be a tough day because of the weather but you can at least know for sure – best police force in the world, a year’s worth of preparations to get ready for this and it’s going to make a huge difference.”
De Blasio said he chose Sanders to lead his second inauguration because the senator “has revolutionized the political discussion in this country.”
“Here in New York City we’re going to have the number one voice in this country calling for a fairness and calling for a real break for working people,” he said. “I’m honored to have him swear me in.”