Separately, Police Announce Plans To Consolidate Task Forces To Help With Protests


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Shootings in New York City were up 23 percent for the year as of the beginning of February, and the NYPD on Monday pointed to one possible reason for the spike.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, from 2013 to 2014, Deputy Commissioner Dermot Shea said there was a 22 percent increase in the number of people released from prison onto the streets of New York.

“We’ve already had nine people shot this year on probation; already nine people shot this year that are on parole in New York City,” Shea said.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the public should know there are very few people getting shot or killed in the city who do not have extensive criminal records. At least half a dozen known shooters this year have also come from prison.

“And so we want to see if we can, in fact, get a few more of them back in that will set the tone that the others that are still out there will understand,” Bratton said. “You’re not getting a get-out-of-jail-free card when you get paroled or get probation.”

Separately Monday, as 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported, police announced a restructuring of the five NYPD borough task forces – putting them under one command.

One reason, said police Chief of Department James O’Neill, is to better respond to demonstrations that occur across the city – some of them major, and some directed at police.

“One thing they’re going to be able to do is they’ll handle the demonstrations and protests, and they’ll also be able to respond to any sort of civil disorder,” O’Neill said.

The restructuring also addresses a constant concern that has been ever-present since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Addressing the ability to deal with the continually changing terrorism situation,” he said.

The plans for restructuring the borough task forces came after Bratton’s announcement last week that a new anti-terror strike force will be established.

The unit of 350 cops will be specially trained in high-tech weaponry to deal with protests, “lone wolf” attacks and evolving threats posed by terrorists, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

The Strategic Response Group, Bratton said, will be dedicated to “disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities.”

“It is designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,” the commissioner said last week.

Funding for the new squad is expected to come from both the city and federal Homeland Security grants.