A SAFER CITY
Two months into the new year, and it seems
that the New York Police Department has
certainly turned the corner on crime.
After a year marred by COVID-19 and a
summer shooting surge that had many wondering
if the city was going in reverse, the first two
months of 2021 show a dramatic decrease in overall
crime across the five boroughs.
The NYPD touted the progress last week, and
the numbers do not lie. Over the first 59 days of
2021, the NYPD tallied 12,453 major index crimes
— down 23.6 percent from the 16,294 serious felonies
that occurred the previous year.
Six of the seven major index crime categories
— murder, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary
and grand larceny — all fell. The lone major crime
that continues to increase is auto thefts.
Within all the good news, of course, comes the
fact that shootings are still a major problem for
America’s biggest city — though it’s not nearly
close to “the bad old days” of the bullet-riddled
1980s and 1990s that fearmongers claim are reappearing
in New York.
Shootings across the five boroughs were up a
stunning 76 percent, from 44 in 2020 to 77 in 2021.
Yet that number represents the sixth straight
month-to-month decrease in shooting incidents
across New York City.
The NYPD has beefed up its efforts to crack
down on gun violence over recent months and is
making more gun arrests. While the shooting increase
remains, it’s only a matter of time before
the NYPD’s efforts catch up to the situation, and
then the shootings will start decreasing at an
even more steady rate.
What’s the verdict on all this? It’s that the
city is far from the crime-riddled cesspool some
might want to believe it is. It isn’t, as Governor
Andrew Cuomo suggested last week, “teetering”
on the brink of despair.
There’s much for the NYPD to do to continue
to keep the city safe — both from crime and from
injustice. Police must step up efforts, for example,
to battle crime in the subways and to stop
hate-filled bigots from targeting, and attacking,
people because of their ethnicity.
But no one should conclude that New York City
is on the brink, and lost to the criminals.
We must put aside the fear, follow the facts,
and have some confidence as New Yorkers that
our city is safe.
HOW TO REACH US
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.12 COM | MARCH 12-MARCH 18, 2021
WHY SUNNYSIDE COMMUNITY SERVICES
SHOULD BECOME A VACCINATION SITE
I am writing to urge immediate
action to designate Sunnyside
as a vaccine site. In addition
to serving Sunnyside, Queens,
they reach seniors in some of
the hardest-hit communities in
our city: Jackson Heights, Corona,
Elmhurst and beyond.
I count on Sunnyside Community
Services because they
have always offered services to
thousands of seniors in need
during the pandemic and before
it. They make sure seniors have
access to food, support for benefits
and guidance around their
Seniors, especially Latino
and African American seniors,
have been the worst hit in this
pandemic. Yet we are unable
to access the COVID-19 vaccine.
Many seniors complain of
hours on hold, confusing online
systems and frustrating dead
ends. Others don’t even try because
they are hesitant about
the vaccine and need reassurance.
Services is a place we trust, is
easy to get to, and with people
that care about us.
In addition to designating
Sunnyside Community Services
as a vaccine site we advocate
for the social workers and case
managers to have special access
to sign up seniors for appointments.
Many people don’t have
internet connections or don’t
know how to use the online appointment
Now that an end to this pandemic
is in sight, I urge city and
state officials to make sure that
the Queens senior community
who were some of the first to
fall to this deadly virus are not
the last to be vaccinated.
Member of the senior center
at Sunnyside Community
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There’s much for the NYPD to do to continue to keep the city safe, but the first two months of 2021 show a
dramatic decrease in overall crime across the five boroughs. Photo via Flickr