New York City has made incredible gains in the fight against crime. Today, we are the safest big city in America – and we need to keep it that way.
Throughout her career, Chris has worked with the NYPD to reduce crime and to make every community and neighborhood safe. At the same time, she has focused on improving police-community relations and making sure there is one system of justice for all New Yorkers. Chris knows that we can both keep crime at record lows and protect our civil liberties.
As Speaker, Chris:
- Restored funding to put 500 additional police officers on the streets.
- Provided funding to ensure the purchase of state-of-the-art bulletproof vests for all police officers.
- Increased funding to the five District Attorneys to assist them in the prosecution of criminals in New York City.
- Negotiated an agreement with the NYPD to increase transparency and independence in the review of alleged police misconduct by giving prosecutorial authority to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
- Passed legislation creating new criminal penalties for individuals participating in gang initiations.
- Created SPEAK UP NYC, an anonymous hotline and text message system that has empowered hundreds of young people to report threats of violence in their communities and schools.
- Organized a Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, which will be producing recommendations later this year.
- Passed a package of legislation improving safety at nightlife establishments.
As Mayor, Chris plans to:
Increase the number of police officers on city streets. A visitor seeing New York for the first time today would find it hard to believe that just over two decades ago we were the murder capital of the United States. We have made long strides from that point, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to rest on our laurels. Chris will hire an additional 1,600 police officers over the next three years, bringing our total ranks up to 36,000. Chris will also accelerate the hiring of 500 new officers that were scheduled to start in January 2014--we should instead have them join the force in July of this year. It’s imperative that we maintain consistent resources to make sure we’re not taking one step backwards in the fight against crime.
Purchase 1,000 new mobile security cameras. Chris will use capital funds to purchase 1,000 new mobile security cameras for deployment around the city - starting with 200 cameras this year. These new cameras will give us three distinct advantages. One, we can better adapt to changing data and crime patterns. Two, we’ll be able to temporarily shift cameras to cover soft targets that may be at risk for terrorist attacks. And three, since they move around, criminals won’t be able to predict where the cameras are located at any given moment.
Work with industry leaders to adapt gunshot sensing technology for use in NYC. When gunshots are fired in New York City, the NYPD is often forced to depend on witness accounts for information. Several companies have developed sensors that can be installed in areas prone to gun violence, detect when shots are fired, and provide information on the specific location and even what type of gun was used. These technologies have shown some good results in less dense areas like Nassau County, and Chris will work with the NYPD and industry leaders to develop versions that can be effectively used in cities like New York.
Improve oversight of and community relations with the NYPD. Experts from all across the political spectrum agree that community relations are central to good policing. It makes community members more likely to come forward with information, and helps keep both officers and citizens safe. One critical way to continue to improve police community relations is by increasing oversight of the NYPD. Chris is working to create an Inspector General in the Department of Investigations, who will be tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on NYPD policies and practices. Many other cities and law enforcement agencies, such as Los Angeles and the FBI, currently have an Inspector General. After Los Angeles instituted an Inspector General, crime actually fell by 33%, and public satisfaction with the LAPD rose to 83%. The Inspector General will not pose any kind of threat to the authority of the Mayor or the Police Commissioner. The buck will and should stop with the Mayor, because as much as we need to continue to improve trust and accountability, it’s critical that we avoid anything that would damage the Department’s ability to keep us safe.
Strengthen efforts at keeping youth out of prison. New York State is one of only two states that still treat 16 and 17 year olds as adults, for all crimes. We need to institute Chief Judge Lippman’s proposal to create a separate system within the court that focuses on adolescents. Chris will work as mayor to create a judicial system that even better understands adolescent development, and provides opportunities for rehabilitation, mental health treatment, and other interventions that can help keep these kids out of prison. Chris will also work to increase funding to Alternative to Incarceration Programs.
Equip more police officers with mobile devices. Police officers can never have enough real-time information on the job. Chris will equip more police officers with mobile devices that provide instant access to police databases, expanding a pilot program that is already showing great results. Officers are provided smartphones, so when they respond to a call at a residential building, they can immediately pull up information on residents with previous arrests, outstanding warrants, photographs of parolees, and lists of every registered gun owner. They can even get the location of video surveillance cameras in the area. Knowing what to look for in any given situation makes officers more effective, and keeps them and residents safer.
Create public safety apps to help keep New York safe and secure. The city can never do enough to improve the safety of its residents. Chris will work with the tech industry to develop mobile apps that will help more New Yorkers keep themselves and the city safe. The first would work a lot like the panic button at a bank--with the push of a button on your phone, you could request assistance from a nearby officer who will locate you using GPS technology. This kind of app could save the lives of New Yorkers in situations where it’s impossible for them to call 911. The second app would allow New Yorkers to report suspicious activity directly to the NYPD via photo or text. Using the same technology that was so helpful following the Boston bombing, we can make it easier for New Yorkers to report suspicious activity. The more we empower New Yorkers to share information, the better our chances of preventing terrorist attacks.
Expand counterterrorism training to additional city agencies. New York City is already the national model for municipal counterterror efforts, but we can and must find ways to do even more. That’s why Chris believes we need to expand basic counterterrorism training to agencies like the Department of Sanitation, the Department of Transportation, and the MTA. These trainings could be similar to the tactical instruction the NYPD provides to private security directors, or the information they provide to building employees on how to identify suspicious packages or activities. We have 6,800 sanitation workers and over 34,000 transit workers moving around our streets and our subways every day. By making them a bigger part of our surveillance program, we can keep our communities even safer.