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New York detectives struggle to keep the peace amid weak staff and lack of support

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New York detectives struggle to keep the peace amid weak staff and lack of support

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New York City detectives are plagued by low morale, understaffing and lack of support from leaders 18 months after George Floyd’s death sparked a nationwide backlash against the services of police, according to a union president who represents more than 19,000 active and retired NYPD detectives.

“This is the first time in history that the three government entities have turned their backs on the police – and I mean at the city, state and federal level,” the chairman of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, Paul DiGiacomo.

In July 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council voted to cut the city’s police department budget by around $ 1 billion amid intense public pressure to fund the police. .

Budget cuts have led to the disbandment of the anti-crime unit of 600 plainclothes officers, the delay of a cadet class of about 900 officers and the reduction in overtime.


“We need to boost the morale of the police department,” said DiGiacomo. “We have to make people like the police again.”

New York Police Department officers wearing masks stand during a service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City to honor 46 colleagues who have died from COVID-19-related illness. New York City will require police, firefighters and other city workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or put on unpaid leave.

“The opinion of the police department has suffered, unfairly in my opinion,” Bronx Detective Rick Simplicio told Fox News.

“It’s not that vocal,” he said, of the vitriolic law enforcement encountered in the months following Floyd’s death. “It’s still there. It’s just not as vocal as it used to be.”

New York detectives are investigating a litany of crimes, including petty theft, homicides, sex crimes and the fight against terrorism.

The city’s detectives have grown from 7,200 in 2001 to 5,200 in 2021, according to DiGiacomo. As a result, the president of the union the said detectives are dispersed and the teams of detectives sometimes carry more than 100 cases at a time.

In addition, New York Police made 393 arrests for illegal firearms in September, bringing the cumulative total for the year to 3,425. This is an increase of almost 21% from 2,832 arrests with weapons. fires carried out through September 2020, according to NYPD data.

“There are people carrying illegal guns on the streets of New York at an alarming rate,” said DiGiacomo.

He and Simplicio agreed that a bail reform law implemented in January 2020, which made pre-trial release automatic for most people accused of misdemeanors and non-violent crimes, made it difficult removal of criminals from the streets.

New York detectives struggle to keep the peace amid weak staff and lack of support

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Photo of a trio of assailants stabbing a victim, photo courtesy of NYPD’s DCPI.

“Police funding has not worked, just as the laws that have been passed in Albany are not working,” said DiGiacomo, accusing the New York legislature of passing reforms that make crime worse. “It’s just that our elected officials are not mature enough to realize or admit that they made a mistake and fix what they broke.”

According to DiGiacomo, 82% of those captured with an illegal firearm so far this year have been released soon after their arrest.

“The bail reform laws allow them to be released and they are back on the streets the next morning,” Simplicio said. “There have been cases where people have been arrested for firearms – more than once – and they have been released, and they have committed murder.”

The number of shootings increased 97% from 777 in 2019 to 1,531 in 2020 and murders jumped 44% from 319 to 462, according to the NYPD.


In addition, DiGiacomo criticized a discovery reform passed in 2019, which allows defendants to request access to crime scenes. He said the policy puts witnesses at risk and discourages them from presenting evidence.

The union president also said the justice system must start enforcing the law, which requires anyone caught with an illegal firearm to serve at least one year in prison.

“If you fix these three things, the shootings in New York will decrease dramatically,” he said.

New York detectives struggle to keep the peace amid weak staff and lack of support

 | News Today

New York Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa speaks to media in Times Square following another daytime shooting yesterday in the popular tourist destination on June 28, 2021 in New York City. Sliwa and Democrat Eric Adams are both stepping onto a “crime-hardening” platform as New York City, like other major cities, sees an increase in violent crime. (Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)


Both DiGiacomo and Simplicio have said they will back the mayoral candidate in Tuesday’s election focused on reducing crime and backing the police department.

“If the next mayor, whoever he is, does not solve the crime epidemic in New York City, the city’s economic machine will stop and the city will fall,” said DiGiacomo.

“It’s going to come back to days that you don’t want to see and that we haven’t seen for many, many years,” he continued.

Teny Sahakian is an associate producer / writer for Fox News. Follow Teny Sahakian on Twitter at @tenysahakian.

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