NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It was a terrifying Labor Day weekend of violence as 67 people were shot in New York City. It came on the heels of the NYPD dealing with alarming spikes in murder, rapes and robberies in some neighborhoods.
It was no wonder then why Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer in an exclusive interview he needs more manpower.
“It’s less safe than usual. There should be more protection in this area, more police officers, should feel safer, you know, so people can feel safer,” said Raquel Carzenas of the Bronx.
“When I go out late at night to get something or get something at the supermarket I do feel a little scared, so I might be a little anxious maybe I might get shot,” added Michael Mayne of the Bronx.
“I think it’s unsafe because there are little kids here, so, yeah, we can’t expect no better,” added Kim Gabbidon.
People from the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx spent part of their Tuesday reflecting on crime and street safety after eight people were shot at a neighborhood party Sunday — eight of the more than five dozen people hit in an alarming spate of gunplay that began on Friday.
The incidents prompted Commissioner Kelly to wonder what life would be like with more cops.
Kramer: “Do you have a list?”
Kelly: “I’d like to have more cops. We’re down about 6,000 police officers from were we were in 2001.”
The police commissioner said he understands the Wall Street meltdown and the recession have made it hard to avoid budget cuts, but he told Kramer he hungers for a larger police force.
“There’s nothing like having the old boots on the ground as they say,” Kelly said.
The NYPD has made huge advances deploying all kids of modern technology, but the commissioner said, “Technology is good but cops are better. I’d like to get additional resources. It is unlikely given the state of the economy that that’s going to happen.”
Although crime is way down since he took over the Department, there has been a recent uptick in murders, rapes and robberies in some areas — like a 400 percent increase in murders in tony Williamsburg. So he is looking forward to the new 1,600-member cadet class hitting the streets in January.
“They’ll make a… make a difference,” Kelly said.
There has been a double-digit overall decline in crime since Kelly took over the NYPD in 2002, but recently the Department is also coping with crime spikes — like a 400 percent hike in rapes in Sheepshead Bay.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.