18 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 11, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
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JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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Story: Maspeth High School launches pen pal
program with local senior home
Summary: Jesse Pachter, an assistant principal at
Maspeth High School, launched a pen pal program
that encourages students to write to residents of a
nearby senior living center.
Reach: 4,724 (as of 03/08/21)
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.
Aft er a year marred by COVID-19
and a summer shooting surge that had
many wondering if the city was going
in reverse, the fi rst two months of 2021
show a dramatic decrease in overall
crime across the fi ve boroughs.
Th e NYPD touted the progress last
week, and the numbers do not lie. Over
the fi rst 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. Th e lone major crime that continues
to increase is auto theft s.
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 fi ve boroughs
were up a stunning 76 percent, from 44
in 2020 to 77 in 2021. Yet that number
represents the sixth straight month-tomonth
decrease in shooting incidents
across New York City.
Th e NYPD has beefed up its eff orts 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
eff orts 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.
Th ere’s much for the NYPD to do to
continue to keep the city safe — both
from crime and from injustice. Police
must step up eff orts, for example, to battle
crime in the subways and to stop
hate-fi lled 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
We must put aside the fear, follow the
facts, and have some confi dence as New
Yorkers that our city is safe.
Photo via Flickr
There’s much for the NYPD to do to continue to keep the city safe, but the fi rst two months of 2021
show a dramatic decrease in overall crime across the fi ve boroughs.