New York is the safest big city in America. But gun violence and crime are still destroying families and undermining communities. The Council has taken critical steps to make sure more New Yorkers are safe.
To keep our streets safe and encourage community-based policing, the Council successfully fought for 1,297 new police officers in last year’s budget. We also used our oversight authority to push for appropriate police training and retraining after the tragic death of Eric Garner, proving that support for the police and reform can go hand in hand.
We have also supported our law enforcement officers by allocating $7.3 million for new bulletproof vests and increased capital funding to renovate three precincts (40th precinct, Brooklyn North, and the 13th Precinct).
The Council continued its support of the Anti-Gun Violence Initiative by adding $8.8 million this fiscal year to 17 neighborhoods with the highest incidences of gun violence. The Council and the Administration have invested a total of $19.9 million to provide a comprehensive and community-based approach to addressing gun violence. The wrap-around services include cure violence programs, community therapeutic services, school based conflict mediation, legal services, youth employment, job readiness training, arts programing, and a peer leadership committee.
We increased funding by $18.9 million for our district attorneys’ offices to ensure our prosecutors have the resources they need to combat crime. In addition, we allocated $750,000 to support victims of human trafficking.
Synthetic cannabinoids, more commonly known by street names like “K2” or “spice,” have hit our streets hard and are causing significant health problems for many users, including hospitalizations. While synthetic cannabinoids are illegal, manufacturers have found and exploited numerous legal loopholes to keep their products on the street. Last year, we passed three bills that crack down on businesses caught selling synthetic cannabinoids, providing for both criminal and civil penalties, while not criminalizing users themselves.
Finally, we proposed reforming our broken summons system to reduce penalties for low-level, nonviolent offenses. By doing so, we moved to create a proportional system in which the punishment fits the crime.