WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 25, 2022 12RIDGEWOOD TIMES
A must-win situation
Like it or not, the NYPD has once again
sent teams of trained o cers 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 o cers on patrol
in unmarked vehicles — were e ective in
getting guns o the streets, but they also had
a history of crossing the line when it came
to the constitutional rights of people, specifi
cally through stop-and-frisk. The teams
also were involved in a number of police
Now, the Neighborhood Safety Teams —
dispatched to more than 30 precincts where
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Assistant Classified Manager
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The Neighborhood Safety Teams face a must-win situation for New York, and they must perform as designed.
Photo by Dean Moses
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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 specifi cally 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 o cers will have a special focus on
working with the community, meeting with
community leaders and earning the respect
Queens leaders urge state to make
Queens lawmakers gathered at Mojitos
Restaurant Bar in Jackson Heights
last week to voice their support of
Governor Kathy Hochul’s e orts to
make alcohol-to-go permanent in this
year’s fi nal budget.
5,070 (as of 03/21/22)
and cooperation of the neighborhoods they
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. The
pandemic era has been riddled with bullets.
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 prepandemic
days of relative safety and greater
prosperity, then the rise in rampant gun
crime must fi nally be arrested.
The Neighborhood Safety Teams face a
must-win situation for New York, and they
must perform as designed. Failure is not an