Following a weekend that saw two people killed and 21 people injured by gun violence, Mayor de Blasio announced an increase in the number of officers patrolling neighborhoods where violent crime takes place.
"The whole notion is to quickly and agilely make moves and adjustments, and that’s being done as we speak to stay ahead of the problem,” de Blasio told reporters yesterday.
De Blasio campaigned as a candidate in favor of less-intrusive and more constitutional policing, but he's had to deal with a rise in violent gun crime in neighborhoods with already heavy police presence. De Blasio promised increased patrols in East New York and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, Jamaica in Queens, Harlem in Manhattan, and Mott Haven in the Bronx.
According to the Daily News, there have been 862 shootings in the city this year, which represents a spike of about 10%.
"[Commissioner Bratton] has stated many times that over the past years there have been "spikes" in shootings from time to time," Stephen Davis, the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, told AM New York. "No clear factors have been identified to definitively establish any reasons for these variations."
Still, de Blasio is banking on an increased number of officers to combat the spike in shootings, hoping that more police on the ground will discourage violence. Nevertheless, a 29-year-old man was fatally shot in East Harlem today.
The tactic is reminiscent of his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, and his chosen police commissioner, Ray Kelly, who favored flooding troubled neighborhoods with police officers over other strategies to intended stop violence, even though the supposed success of broken windows policing is dubious at best.
And while Kelly wasn't famous for his discretion when deploying and advising the NYPD to use overwhelming force, even he is upset by the police activity in Ferguson, MO.
"The toothpaste is out of the tube here,” Kelly told Bloomberg News (of course!). “There’s lots of things that should have been done differently, and you have to live with them.” Kelly also mentioned that the lack of diversity on the Ferguson police force was "mind-boggling.”