Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday denied there is an NYPD slowdown, instead touting a “consistent increase” in arrests — despite department stats showing that arrests are down, along with the issuance of traffic tickets.
When asked about the apparent foot-dragging by The Post during a City Hall press briefing, de Blasio replied, “I respect the question, but I think some of this information is very selective.”
“There’s no question in my mind that after everything, the perfect storm everyone went through in this city after so many cops were out sick, after all the dislocations, the criminal justice system not working – everything — that you are now seeing a consistent increase in the number of arrests, particularly gun arrests, more and more activity to address where we’re having problems in some communities with violence,” Hizzoner claimed, referring in part to the coronavirus crisis.
“I don’t doubt for a moment that things are swinging back the other way very quickly,” de Blasio said.
The latest NYPD data shows, though, cops have made nearly 10,000 fewer arrests over the last month — a 56-percent dip compared to last year. For the year, arrests are down almost 40 percent.
And collars for firearms haven’t outpaced 2019 numbers since the last week in May.
Gun arrests are down 8.1 percent overall for this year – with 1,899 busts versus 2,066 during the same period last year.
From Aug. 3 through Sunday, the department recorded 62 gun arrests compared to 86 during the same time frame last year, stats released Monday show.
The week prior, police made 54 gun arrests compared to 59 the year before — which is the first week since mid-June the NYPD came close to 2019 numbers.
In June, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanded the anti-crime unit, which was tasked with getting guns off the street. Despite the dip, Shea has repeatedly claimed that dissolving the unit has had no effect on arrest numbers.
De Blasio has continually but erroneously blamed a coronavirus-induced partial court shutdown for the wave of gun violence that has rocked the city in recent weeks — though NYPD data does not support that conclusion.
Asked Tuesday how the court closures explain the dramatic declines in NYPD traffic tickets issued, the mayor reasoned in circles that “A perfect storm is a perfect storm.”
“We’ve had so much dislocation in the NYPD and every city agency, we’ve had so much shifting around that we had to do as a result,” he said.
De Blasio continued, “A huge number of changes have been made in the last weeks, even, redeploying officers to other duties. Obviously, we didn’t have the April recruit class, we didn’t have the June class, there’s a lot of adjustments that have had to be made.”
“But what is clear is the adjustments have been made and are putting the energy, putting the officers where the need is greatest, which is fighting the gun violence and more and more, of course, doing that with community members and community organizations,” the mayor said.
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