Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday said he would not have suspended the plainclothes anti-crime police teams, as the city recently did because the unit plays an important role in proactive policing.
Adams, speaking at a press conference on the Black Lives Matter Way/Jorolomon Street side of Borough Hall, said if it were up to him he wouldn’t have disbanded but given better training to the unit that in the past have been largely responsible for taking guns off the street, but who have also faced criticism for unnecessary stops and alleged brutality.
“I think the element of surprise is an important part of policing tools,” said Adams, a retired New York City Police Department captain. “There is a proper way to use plainclothes police enforcement without it being abused. I think it should be done more correctly with more knowledgable officers that communicate better. There are elements to public safety and anti-crime units can be elements of that public safety.”
Adams called the press conference to announce he is seeking a forensic investigation over reports of a police slowdown in responding to crime.
His comments also came after more shootings in Brooklyn on Monday, including the shooting of an 11-year-old girl and a weekend in which a man was gunned down in broad daylight after begging on Facebook not to be murdered.
“There is no true justice without safety and no safety without true justice. We’re not going to accept violent gun behavior and not going to accept what appears to be a police slowdown in fighting crime for those [police] who have bruised feelings because we are saying police must be reformed,” said Adams.
Adams said the forensic investigation should include an analysis of 311 and 911 calls and see if police officers have either had a non-appearance or slow response to crime calls.
“Every ICO [Integrity Control Officer] must start monitoring response to calls for services to ensure we are getting a proper response from our police officers. We demand an immediate response to the increase in gun violence,” said Adams.
Adams said the NYPD could absorb the recent $1 billion in cuts to the agency and more with better management. This includes less police presence and more civilian use within the police department for non-crime-related jobs like manning the NYPD Office of Public Information (DCPI).
Adams also called for less presence and overtime at parades and other public gatherings. He said the NYPD’s volunteer auxiliary reserve police force could patrol corners during parade routes and utilize regular police at central points.
Following the press conference, the city faced yet another bloody night with four more reported murders with three being gunned down and another stabbed to death. Two of the killings were in Brooklyn.