NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Saturday night’s shooting in Queens, which wounded 10 people, has prompted New York City’s mayoral candidates to weigh in on how to end the gun violence plaguing parts of the five boroughs.
CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez has more on their plans.
The NYPD says so far this year, shootings are up by more than 100 compared to same time in 2020.
The statistics paint a clear picture of the spike in gun violence. There have been at least 898 shooting incidents so far this year, while there were 771 during the same time period last year — a 16% increase.
In June, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a collaboration between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the NYPD to combat gun violence. On Sunday, the two men vying to take his job in November visited the mass shooting scene in Corona, Queens and said more needs to be done.
“What I, as mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa, would do immediately is something that our mayor is afraid to do, which is hire more police,” Sliwa said.
“We need a joint gangs and guns task force, with federal, state and city coordination to make sure that we can do information sharing, go after the guns that are on the streets, stop the flow of guns, and take down these crews,” Adams said.
Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a first-of-its-kind state disaster emergency on gun violence, creating a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention that lets local police departments share information to target gun violence hot spots. Also, $138.7 million will go to prevention programs and jobs for at-risk youth.
Adams is pushing for the reinstatement of the NYPD’s plainclothes Anti-Gun Unit and a crisis management team to target gangs, the biggest contributor to gun violence.
“We need a full, comprehensive approach of every level of law enforcement and the support services so we can go after this entire problem, how we feed gun violence,” Adams said.
Sliwa is pushing for more police funding, manpower, and money for informants, as gang-related violence grows.
“There has to be stop and frisk. If you’re not stopping and frisking these young men who are at war with one another, you’re guaranteeing them more of them are going to come out with loaded handguns, with 9 millimeters, and start popping shots,” Sliwa said.
“There must be an incentivization program. And trust me, in my 42 years, many crimes would not have been resolved if not for confidential informants being paid,” Sliwa added.
Sliwa is also calling for a witness protection program to encourage people to come forward about crime, without fear. Adams said he’d like to see the creation of a special prosecutor to handle gun-related crime, so perpetrators are brought to justice more swiftly.