New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday declared his administration would be targeting gangs and guns to bring down a rise in gun violence.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” the Democrat also vowed to reinstitute an anti-gun unit disbanded during Bill de Blasio’s administration.
“We’re going to go after gangs, we’re going to take down some of the large gangs in our city,” he vowed. “Whenever you see a shooting take place, look at the next line, gang-related. We’re going to zero in on gangs.”
“We’re going to reinstitute a plainclothes anti-gun unit and zero in on those guns,” he added.
“We’re going to refocus on those who are carrying guns and violent crimes in our city and turn around this city,” he said. “It’s going to be a safe place. I say it all the time, the prerequisite to prosperity is public safety and justice. My city is going to be safe.”
Adams acknowledged an alarmingly high sick rate within the New York Police Department because of the omicron variant surge, but said the department will be able to adjust.
“We are pivoting based on where the urgency is located,” he said. This is smart, the way we’re doing it. We’re not taking it one-size-fits-all. We’re thinking about it and making the right moves and decisions.”
“We have a 20% percent sick rate. But now, we have officers coming back after the five days,” he said, referring to eased rules for quarantine and isolation after a positive COVID-19 infection. “We’re doing an amazing job of shifting the way the virus is causing us to do so.”
If we close down our city, it is as dangerous as COVID,” he added. “That’s what our focus must be. So, the proper balance of safety, keeping our economy operating is going to allow us to get through this.”
But Adams lamented New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has not made COVID testing mandatory at schools reopening this week, declaring “I think that would be a great idea.”
“But unfortunately, the governor made the decision, and I’m going to follow the governor,” he said. “We’re going to be partners on this to make sure we make our school system safe.”
“We’ve lost almost two years of education,” Adams added. “We can’t do it again. And so, I say to them: We want to create a safe environment with testing. We’re going to identify the children that are exposed. We’re going to remove them from that environment, and the numbers show the mere fact that a child is exposed in a classroom does not mean that entire classroom is exposed. We just have to be smarter and thoughtful to keep our cities safe and operating.”
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