One would think the safest of all places to be in NYC would be a museum. But the crime wave pandemic sweeping The Big Apple has now crept through the walls of our most sacred Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and has corrupted the image of our town to the world to say nothing of its inhabitants. No easy task to remedy. On March 13th, the W. 53rd street cultural landmark was the site of a madman’s unprovoked knife attack on two employees that left them severely wounded. The attacker, at the time of this writing, is still at large.
Although authorities all the way up the line have called for gun control as the remedy for the increase in violence erupting throughout the country, a knife was the weapon of choice in this attack. NY has seen hammers, machetes, screwdrivers, fists and lethal kicks used by thugs in their assaults on innocents. Just standing on subway platforms is dangerous. A mere shove onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train is always fatal. And things are not getting any better. Just looking at the official crime figures issued by the city, comparing this February’s over the same month in 2021, is alarming. Murders have increased by over 10%. Rapes by 36%. Robberies by 56%. Burglaries by 44%. Grand larcenies by 79%. All told, crime rates, up and down the line, have gone up an average of 58%. So, who is to blame?
The elected and appointed leadership is always responsible for the good and bad of what befalls those under whom they serve. Mayor Adams, installed only on January 1, 2022, has to be given a bit more time to remedy this current problem. His attempts to warm up the relationship with the NYPD that his predecessor Mayor DeBlasio screwed up has been a positive step. As of this week, The Neighborhood Safety Teams, replacing the plain-clothes units of the NYPD that DeBlasio foolishly disbanded, hit the streets to battle gun violence an crime in general in the city. According to Adams who made this change, the new units have special training and even new uniforms for identification as police officers, to “prevent aggressive and abusive policing tactics that had plagued its predecessor.” Who cares about verbiage, we and our fellow New Yorkers want peace, law and order to prevail.
These new teams, designed primarily to go after firearms, will be deployed to roughly 25 dangerous neighborhoods that represent 80% of the gun violence in the city and in several dangerous public housing projects as well. They have been designed to pick up where the anti-crime teams left off. The issue has been addressing community concerns such as officers in plainclothes jumping out of unmarked cars, leading many in the community to argue they “didn’t know they were dealing with police.” Whatever, Adams has the most important support of some on the City Council. City Councilman Justin Brannan, who sits of the committee on public safety, said he was in total support of this new unity. “Public safety and police accountability do not need to live in constant tension. The average New Yorker wants to feel safe, wants to know that when they call 911, there’ll be a quick response. They want the police to be accountable and to act professionally. So with the rise in gun violence an the rising crime, this is a step in the fifth direction toward making people feel safe again.” We’re with Justin Brannan all the way and our words of encouragement to our leader…..”Good start Mayor Adams.”