NYC Mayor Adams Brings Back Plainclothes Unit That de Blasio Disbanded

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Monday that a plainclothes police unit charged with fighting gun violence will be relaunched after it had been disbanded during the “defund the police” movement supported by former Mayor Bill de Blasio.


The unit — renamed “neighborhood safety teams,” will focus on patrolling 30 precincts where 80% of the violence in the city occurs.

De Blasio proudly disbanded the 600-officer unit because most of the arrests for guns were of minorities.  At the time, de Blasio was quite pleased with his empty initiative.

“This is a seismic shift in the culture of how the N.Y.P.D. polices this great city,” commissioner Dermot F. Shea said at the time. “It will be felt immediately in the communities that we protect.” It certainly was, commissioner. It’s too bad that the “seismic shift” ended up favoring criminals.

National Police Association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner-Smith, a retired police sergeant, explained to Fox News the advantages of these plainclothes units.

Fox News:

“Plainclothes officers need to be able to move freely, of course, in all areas of the city, but they need to especially focus on those areas where violent crime is most prevalent,” she said. “When we look at New York City, like a lot of other large cities, very often that’s going to be in the poorest of areas.”

“So, we’ve got to employ logic,” she said. “We’ve got to employ statistics and take a good hard look at where the violent crime is happening, who’s committing it and then put plainclothes resources in those areas because a plainclothes police officer can move a lot more freely in an area to be able to detect violent criminals and stop them and hopefully remove more illegal firearms from the streets of the city.”


The announcement came as the NYPD and the city are mourning the loss of an officer on duty. Officer Jason Rivera was shot and killed on Friday while responding to a domestic call on Friday. His partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, 27, remains in critical condition. The gunman was shot by a third officer and later died of his wounds.

“It’s time to take the politics out of policing and out of crime response and crime prevention,” Brantner-Smith said Monday, speaking to Fox News Digital before Adams’ press conference. “Remember, we got rid of this, the gun unit that the mayor is bringing back. That was eliminated for purely political reasons. Politics has no business being involved when we’re talking about people’s safety.”

“After we look at the last 20 months in the whole country, I think we can all now safely say, and we need to realize and be adults about it, that these pro-criminal policies not only are they not working,” Brantner-Smith said. “They are endangering people, especially people in urban areas. And if you look at this murder statistics, they’re especially endangering people of color.”

Adams, a former police officer and borough president, ran on a simple “law and order” platform, pledging to increase funding to the police that had been slashed by a billion dollars during the tenure of Bill de Blasio.


CBS 2:

Whipsawed by gun violence — the horrific shooting in Harlem of two cops was just the latest in a long string of crimes — Adams laid out a comprehensive plan that includes jobs for unemployed youth, mental health initiatives and violence interrupter programs.

But the big focus is on cops and fixing the criminal justice system.

“I’m ready for the battle. I’m ready for the battle, and my life experience has prepared me for this moment,” Adams, a former NYPD captain, said.

Adams’ changes are fine as far as they go. But what good is beefing up police presence when radical prosecutors will simply open the jail door and allow the criminals to go free?

The crisis in the cities demands a more heuristic approach to crime-fighting. Whether Adams can marshal the forces for good against the forces of evil remains to be seen.


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