Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is confident that Mayor-elect Eric Adams will continue his longstanding policies on policing.
Mr. de Blasio, who is term-limited and will be ushered out of office in four days, told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace there is no rift between him and Mr. Adams when it comes to law enforcement.
“Eric Adams is someone I’ve worked really closely with, Chris, and it’s pretty well known to New York City. I supported him and helped him in every way I could to get him elected. And I think he’s gonna continue what we started and build upon it,” said Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat. “He was a police reformer as a police officer.”
“This is well known and he believes that we need to improve the relationship between police and community as key to safety. That’s what we did with the strategy neighborhood policing. So, no, I think there’s a tremendous amount of continuity,” the mayor said.
Mr. de Blasio is under scrutiny for the spike of violent crime in New York over the past few years as a result of his support for criminal justice reform policies. Those measures include changing the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policy, disbanding the force’s anti-crime unit and supporting the state legislature’s passage of cashless bail.
Mr. Adams, a former NYPD officer and Brooklyn borough president, ran on a platform to be tougher on crime than Mr. de Blasio and pledged to bring back the plainclothes anti-crime unit, which was known to seize illegal firearms from the streets and go after violent criminals.
Mr. de Blasio noted Sunday that he supported police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s push to change the plainclothes anti-crime unit to a uniformed force.
“They’re taking more guns off the street this year than we’ve seen in decades,” he said.
In an interview Friday on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” Mr. de Blasio said: “Commissioner Shea … felt that the unit as constructed was not only created a disconnect with communities, and ill will and some bad incidents.”
Hours later in Brooklyn, according to NY1, Mr. Adams, shot back: “They stated the officers were carrying out their actions improper. How about, make sure the officers do their job?”
“That’s an indictment on us that we have to disband something because the people assigned aren’t doing their job. How about saying, ‘You’re going to do your job.’ Because if that officer is abusive in a plainclothes assignment, he’s going to be abusive in uniform,” the incoming Democratic mayor said.
• Kerry Picket can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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