NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea blames legislators for NYC crime spike
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Monday said accusations that his cops are on a “slowdown” makes his “blood boil” — instead blaming legislators for a “fuse lit at both ends” with police cuts and legal reforms.
The top cop confirmed that he was cutting officers’ time off on weekends to try to tackle the alarming spike in gun crime — and warned of a return to the “bad old days” with criminals able to escape strict sentences and not enough officers available to police the streets.
He attacked Public Advocate Jumaane Williams for suggesting cops were taking part in a “deliberate slowdown” — instead blaming “attitudes within the criminal justice system” and budget cuts for tying their hands.
“I try to keep a level head, but when I hear that, it does make my blood boil,” Shea told Fox’s “Good Day New York,” calling the “slowdown” claims “absolutely not true.”
“The men and women of this police department are out there, they care deeply about what happens on the streets in New York City, and they and they continue to be out there running towards danger,” he said.
Instead, he pleaded with legislators to reconsider reforms that have created a “perfect storm.”
“Right now there is a fuse lit, and it’s lit at both ends,” Shea told the morning show.
“On one end you have attrition, going through the roof. On the other end, you have an overtime budget that was decimated.
“We need to take a look at where we are right now because this, I think we would all agree, is not really working,” he said.
“I firmly believe that everyone has common ground here — and the common ground is no one wants to see a mother shot on the streets of New York City, or a one-year-old shot, as happened in Brooklyn,” he said of two of the “heartbreaking” recent homicides.
He confirmed that cops have lost time off at weekends, when gun crime typically spikes, so that “every single man and woman is able to be used.”
“It’s tough. I feel for the men and women that it affects — it affects personal lives — but it’s something that we had to do,” he said.
He said he was particularly frustrated to read a recent report of a store that no longer calls police after robberies because they know the offender will only get a ticket.
“And that’s true, they get a ticket,” he said of the “frustrating” legal change that “puts the individual right back on the street, and it just doesn’t make sense.”
“On a first-time offense … of course we don’t want to put that person into jail for any extended period of time,” he said.
“But when you have people that do it over and over and over again … this is some of the things that really can be quite frustrating.
“None of us want to say going back to the bad old days right,” he said.
“We will get through this, but it’s certainly a tough time right now,” Shea conceded.
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