TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | MARCH 25 - MARCH 31, 2022
The Neighborhood Safety Teams face a must-win situation for New York, and they must perform as designed.
Photo by Dean Moses
Pete Alonso, first baseman for the New York Mets,
was in a car accident on his way to the team’s
spring training facility in Florida.
According to reports, a driver hit him while
driving through a red light. Alonso’s car was “T-boned”
and tumbled over three times.
His wife said he escaped with just a scratch. She
was driving just behind him and saw the accident and
thought Alonso could have been killed.
It seems as if Pete was blessed and a divine miracle
occurred! I guess God is a Mets fan!
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
A must-win situation
Like it or not, the NYPD has once again sent teams of
trained officers out on duty with one goal: Target the
city’s most dangerous gun criminals.
The Neighborhood Safety Teams unveiled last week
replaced the old Anti-Crime Teams that each police precinct,
at one point, had. Those teams were dissolved in the summer
of 2020 as the city experienced a public reckoning with police
brutality and racial injustice stemming from the George Floyd
police murder in Minneapolis.
The facts were that Anti-Crime Teams — made up of plainclothes
officers on patrol in unmarked vehicles — were effective
in getting guns off the streets, but they also had a history
of crossing the line when it came to the constitutional rights
of people, specifically through stop-and-frisk. The teams also
were involved in a number of police shootings.
Now, the Neighborhood Safety Teams — dispatched to more
than 30 precincts where gun crimes are most prevalent — aim
to be an improvement on the Anti-Crime Teams of old. The
members wear special uniforms and bodycams to record their
responses. They’ve been specifically trained in what Mayor
Eric Adams calls “precision policing,” meaning that they are
sworn to avoid unconstitutional tactics and brutality while simultaneously
targeting individuals known to the department
for having a history of gun violence.
Most importantly, Adams noted at a Wednesday event unveiling
the new teams, these officers will have a special focus
on working with the community, meeting with community
leaders and earning the respect and cooperation of the neighborhoods
Criminal justice advocates have cringed at the introduction
of the Neighborhood Safety Teams, hoping that they’ll avoid
the sins that plagued the old Anti-Crime Teams. We hope and
trust that the Neighborhood Safety Teams will accomplish
their mission while respecting human rights and the law — because
they need to be successful.
New York has been battling higher volumes of gun crime
for nearly two years now. The pandemic era has been riddled
The city’s streets aren’t the Wild West or even back to “the
bad old days” of the early 1990s, but it’s too close for comfort for
the vast majority of New Yorkers, of all backgrounds, who look
at the daily reports of violence and mayhem, and ask, “Why?”
If New York is to get back to the pre-pandemic days of relative
safety and greater prosperity, then the rise in rampant
gun crime must finally be arrested.
The Neighborhood Safety Teams face a must-win situation
for New York, and they must perform as designed. Failure is
not an option.
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