NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One day after the mayor told CBS2 he is getting aggressive in ridding the streets of violent homeless people, CBS2 received exclusive details about the game plan from police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, many say issues involving the homeless have gotten far worse recently.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 12/1 Wednesday Morning Forecast
“It got so bad this last year that you cannot walk around with them being in your face,” said Carmen Gomes of Midtown.
And Bratton said the NYPD is watching the homeless population like never before.
“Whether that’s public urination, squeegee pests, aggressive begging — we will focus on that,” Bratton said.
Bratton said in a one-on-one interview that the effort is urgent, after several violent crimes involving the homeless in the past few weeks. One of the incidents included a tourist hit with a two-by-four.
“Anyone who might be a danger to themselves or to anyone else, we are going to aggressively address and we are going to find a way to address their needs and make sure they’re not on the street,” de Blasio said.READ MORE: NYCFC Reaches Eastern Conference Final After Penalty Shootout
Carlin asked Bratton what the mayor’s remarks mean for the NYPD.
“Well, what the mayor is specifically talking about is that portion of the population that has significant emotional problems; the emotionally disturbed,” Bratton said.
Soon, 10,000 officers will get four days of “handle the homeless” training.
The training will involve “teaching them how to deal with the homeless; the mentally disturbed in the population, and how to de-escalate some of the issues that we face with them,” Bratton said.
So what about there being more homeless people on the streets of New York City? Police Commissioner Bratton told Carlin he believes it is because police have done a better job of getting them out of another location – namely the subways.
“We work with homeless outreach in the subways, and have had very good success dealing with that issue below ground,” he said. “In fact, it’s compounding some of our above ground problems as we move some of them out of the subways.”
But Rick Perkins of Midtown said: “Where are they going to go when winter comes? Back into the subways.”MORE NEWS: Nets Edge Knicks On James Johnson's Free Throws
Putting the City’s homeless problem to bed means finding better mental health solutions and better housing – both long-term, according to Bratton. But right now, the police commissioner said getting a handle on the harmful homeless is top priority.