NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More NYPD officers will be on the streets during weekends, when gun violence appears to be at its worst.
It’s the police department’s latest move in an attempt to stop the surge in shootings, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.
At least 45 people were shot, eight fatally, since Friday.
Caution tape went up Sunday around the Howard Houses on Stone Avenue in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Police said a 34-year-old man was shot in the chest and later died at the hospital.
It’s not how the community wanted to start their workweek.
“It don’t make no sense for them to be hurting each other like that, killing each other,” one person said.
Neighbors said they heard at least six gunshots.
Police still don’t know who the shooter was, or why it happened.
“How we living, this is not living,” said Monique Hines, an East New York resident.
Hines said community members are living in fear.
“Kids can’t even come outside, and can’t go to the park. We can’t do nothing no more. We can’t live how we want to live because people want to shoot up,” she told CBS2’s John Dias.
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Two-thirds of uniformed officers below the rank of sergeant will shift to a Sunday-Thursday or Tuesday-Saturday schedule.
“This is something that we had to do. It gives us a little bit of flexibility,” said Shea. “I’m starting to feel like a business struggling to survive here and, you know, we’re doing what we can with the resources we have and making sure that it’s all hands on deck.”
“I think, at this point, he’s trying to put a band-aid on things, because things are so out of control,” said Dr. Alfred Titus of John Jay College and a former NYPD homicide detective of 23 years.
Dr. Titus said the disbanded undercover anti-crime units need to come back with more training.
“Those gang units are plain clothes units, too. The drug units are plain clothes units, too. So, we need these units in order to infiltrate the organizations and the gangs that are out there committing these crimes,” he said.
Despite a sharp increase in gun violence, the NYPD is making fewer arrests. The numbers are down nearly 40 percent overall, 65 percent when it comes to addressing gangs.
The decline started well before the pandemic and protests.
“The New York City police department had one of the lowest crime rates for the last, I don’t know, 20, 30 years of all the cities in America, the major cities of that size, until recently,” said Brian Boyd, a security and intelligence expert.
Boyd told CBS2 the downside to schedule changes is fewer police services for less violent crimes during the week.
“I think it’s a real rough decision. There isn’t much choice. You have to shift resources, but it’s a catch-22. You don’t have enough money, you have to move the police around and you gotta make the program work,” said Boyd.
It’s still unclear when the new police schedules will take effect, but according to an internal memo, the changes will be hammered down by the end of the month.
Officers said recent reforms make addressing the surge in violence even more difficult.
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