Brooklyn Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, deputy leader of the City Council has applauded the city’s record low crime rate, saying that what is even more encouraging is Mayor Bill De Blasio’s discussion of the rethinking of how the city addresses crime and public safety.
That included acknowledging partners such as the Cure Violence and community organizations that comprise the City’s Crisis Management System, said Williams of the discussion on Jan. 4, at the Brooklyn Museum, which is only steps away from where Williams was wrongfully arrested on Labor Day in 2011.
“Today’s press conference was a stark contrast to just four years ago where the former administration touted the ‘success’ of Stop, Question and Frisk (SQF) in dealing with crime in the city,” said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn. “My visceral and impromptu reaction then was, ‘It’s not true! That’s wrong!’
“Today, the mention of SQF, more specifically the abuses of it, was only in context of how wrong the approach was,” he added. “The mistaken notion that the city could not drop the number of stops and still keep the city safe is clearly false.”
Williams noted that SQF’s are down 93 percent, stating that, at the same time, crime fell 4.1 percent.
He said gun arrests are up, and shootings are at an all-time low.
“This becomes increasingly important as we have a president that wishes to take us backwards,” Williams said.
“We must commend the department and police force for their work and obvious role,” he added. “We must also pay tribute to community groups, like the Crisis Management Systems, who have been on the ground every day and on the front lines, fighting a war against gun violence in New York City’s streets. Kudos to the mayor for doing so today.”
Williams also commended the mayor for “reminding us that statistics and trends do not comfort those who have lost a loved one to gun violence. Every number has a face, a name, and a family trying to recover.”
In his 2016 End-of-Year crime statistics report, the mayor said 2016 represented the fewest ever overall major crimes in New York City, adding that it was the first time “we have been below a thousand shootings in the modern era for a single year in this city, absolutely amazing.
“And to give you a perspective, just 25 years ago, there were over 5,000 shootings in a single year in the city,” he said. “Look how far we have all come together. Another record — the fewest ever robberies in New York City — you can clap for that one too. [Applause].
“And finally, the fewest ever burglaries in New York City [Applause],” he added. “This is extraordinary in comparison to that past and this exhibit is so powerful.
“I urge everyone to really look at it because it reminds us of all of the work that went in to changing things,” deBlasion continued. “It certainly goes back to Bill Bratton and Jack Maple and the origin of CompStat. At the time, we not only had the 5,000 shootings, we had over 2,000 murders a year.
“Real work went in over the last almost quarter a century,” he said. “Real work by our police officers, real work by our community partners to get us to this point and now the NYPD (New York Police Department] perfecting a strategy of precision policing and in combination with neighborhood policing — crimes are being stopped before they happen, because the focus is on the right people in the right places.”