Thousands of calls go unanswered in police-defunded New York City – this is supposed to make people safer?

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NEW YORK CITY, NY– After the in-custody death of George Floyd back in May, protesters, rioters, Black Lives Matter and Antifa members all took to the streets causing mayhem and destruction, while calling for the defunding of police. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York was one of the first to respond, throwing all his weight behind slashing the NYPD’s budget by $1 billion to appease the mass mob. 

de Blasio’s actions have now backfired on him, as New York City looks like it has been set back forty years with its soaring crime rates and overwhelming homeless population. 

According to The New York Post, nearly 2,500 complaints to 311 about vagrants desperately needing help or causing problems have been closed without any action by cops who no longer have jurisdiction, according to official data obtained by The Post.

Statistics show that before de Blasio wiped out $4.5 million a year from the NYPD’s budget for its Homeless Outreach Unit, the monthly number of those cases was just 79 in June. Following his massive cuts, those numbers soared to 437 in July, which is a 550 percent increase.

The monthly figures have remained in triple digits ever since, with August being the highest month at 681. That means there has been a total of 2,486 complaints in just the past five months.

Sources blamed City Hall for failing to have the Department of Homeless Services take over the complaints, as de Blasio promised when he detailed his cuts to the NYPD’s budget, The New York Post reported.

Although at the time de Blasio claimed that civilian workers “can handle this work” and that transition will “happen in the course of this fiscal year”, that has not happened, and there is no one replacing the almost 100 officers who were formally assigned to the Homeless Outreach Unit. 

An official familiar with the situation said:

“City Hall took the responsibility away from the [Police] Department but the city never developed or implemented the plan by DHS to handle additional homelessness calls,” 

With 57 unanswered complaints, Manhattan’s West 72nd Street between Broadway and West End Avenue has been the area that is most overrun by the homeless.

Those who live in the city are the ones who have to deal with the downward spiral the city is in. One resident complained about an unhinged homeless man who’s been plaguing the area lately.

Nancy Lowe, 90, who’s lived in the neighborhood since 1968, said:

“He is quite vociferous. He yells and he screams,” 

She continued:

“It was getting better but now it’s getting worse. The police do not come around anymore.”

Another woman, who identified herself as Grace M. has lived in the area for 68 years, and said she’d seen:

“about an 80 to 90 percent spike [in the number of homeless people].”

She continued:

“Nobody is doing anything. It’s just a deterioration of the neighborhood,” 

She went on to say:

“It seems like what I saw in the ‘80s.”

NYPD union leaders have fired back against de Blasio, as they see for themselves how he has single handedly destroyed the city. 

Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said:

“There’s no doubt that the city’s ever-increasing homeless population deserves proper services, but the ill-advised rush by politicians to ‘defund the police’ comes with consequences,” 

He continued:

“Now that these same elected officials have moved on to the next trending hashtag — New Yorkers are left to suffer.”

Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said:

“Like so many other issues, homeless outreach landed in cops’ laps because the politicians had no other plan to solve the problem.”

He went on to say:

“Now they’re taking responsibilities and resources away from the NYPD, but they still don’t have a plan,” 

He added:

“Homeless New Yorkers – and all New Yorkers – are suffering from City Hall’s lack of leadership, lack of courage, lack of any answer other than ‘blame the cops.’”

The New York Post reported that a former top de Blasio administration official accused the NYPD of refusing to refer the cases to DHS, saying it left hundreds of people on the streets without help.

The ex-official said:

“They never wanted to be involved in anything related to DHS,” 

The ex-official continued: 

“After the budget, they were just like. ‘We’re just not going to do what we don’t want to do.”

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While the homeless population is an increasing problem, the newest crime rate numbers were just released for New York City, and they are shocking. 

The New York Police Department has dropped the numbers showing a 112% surge in shootings over this November, compared to November 2019.

The NYPD crime statistics department indicated that gun violence surged by over 95% during the first 11 months of 2020 compared to the same period last year.

The NYPD told ABC 7 New York:

“So far in 2020, there has been a 38% increase (422 vs. 305) in the number of victims murdered in New York City compared to last year.”

The NYPD said November’s gun arrests were up significantly as well.  The new statistical data was announced as Friday saw the shooting of two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective in the Bronx and two separate shootings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Dermot Shea, NYPD Commissioner said the wave of shootings doesn’t deter the NYPD’s resolve:

“Whatever the challenge, our NYPD officers have shown innovation and determination to get the job done this year.  Our work to reimagine the kind of policing New Yorkers deserve is always evolving, in line with our agency’s best traditions to reflect the needs of everyone in our city.”

Although in close proximity, the recent events happening in Hyannis, Massachusetts has spilled over into New York City.  About two weeks ago, we told you about a shooting where a person involved in a traffic stop in Hyannis, on Cape Cod, shot at a Massachusetts state trooper. 

Thankfully, the trooper wasn’t seriously wounded and will recover fully. 

That shooting, however, started a manhunt for Andre Sterling, a man who had a history of using false names and documents, according to authorities, and didn’t typically spend extended time in any one place.

The shooting of the Massachusetts state trooper was just an event in a long chain of criminal incidents initiated by Mr. Sterling.  Because of the state trooper shooting, Sterling was wanted on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, possession of a firearm and assault and battery. 

Sterling had another warrant in Massachusetts for an identity fraud charge, and he was also wanted on narcotics charges in Wyoming, according to police in Massachusetts.

Investigators found Sterling’s BMW in Connecticut a few days ago, more than a week after the shooting on Cape Cod. They then used electronic communications to track him down at the apartment complex in the Bronx where he was confronted Friday, but it’s still unclear how he made it to New York.

Sterling had been tracked to The Bronx, New York, and a U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts had issued several warrants for his arrest.  US Attorney Andrew Lelling said Deputy US Marshals were executing those fugitive warrants his office issued for Sterling when they were confronted with gunfire.

Three marshals with the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force took fire as soon as they entered the Bronx apartment where they believed Sterling was located.

Two of the US marshals were wounded in the gunfire exchange, but were treated at a hospital and were expected to recover. One was hit in the leg and another was struck in his arm and leg, according to federal officials.

US Attorney Lelling said in a statement:

“At a time of constant, opportunistic, and absurd anti-police rhetoric, this is today’s reminder of the sacrifices law enforcement officers make every day to keep us safe.”

NYPD officers blocked off a four-block area of the Bronx’s Wakefield neighborhood, where trees, brick row houses and single-family homes line the streets. Four Massachusetts state troopers were at the scene to maintain a perimeter outside of the apartment to ensure public safety.

Andre Sterling was shot and killed during the gunfire.

As if the NYPD needs trouble coming in from out of town, like with the Sterling issue that started in Massachusetts – they have plenty of their own.

From January to November, the number of shootings in New York City rose by 95 percent over the same period last year, or 1,412 vs. 721.

As mentioned previously, in November alone, the number of shootings in the city increased 112 percent over the same period last year, or 115 vs. 51.

It is usual for violence to decrease during the colder winter months, as is evidenced by past statistics. 

This winter, however, with Covid-19 lockdowns, all but doing away with bail or bond in New York crimes, and defunding the police to where fewer officers are out trying to prevent crimes, it appears to be exploding. 

Normally quiet December, January, and February will likely not be quiet at all.


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