By Guamacice Delice
New York City Mayor Eric Adam repeated his emphasis on public safety as his central focus while unveiling his second budget proposal for the next year raising it to $99.7 billion during his first State of the City Address on April 26 in Brooklyn
Adams reiterated his commitment to end gun violence in the city the day after a man was shot to death at the Archer Avenue/Parsons Boulevard subway station adjacent to the York College campus.
“We cannot have a city where people are afraid to walk the streets, ride the subway or send their children to school,” Adams said during the speech.
In February the mayor released a preliminary budget proposal that drew criticism from several City Council members. His new proposal added $1.2 billion in spending seeking to address some of that criticism.
During his speech, Adams touted various public safety measures he has undertaken, including a plan called “Blueprint to End Gun Violence,” initiated in January 2022. In March he launched a “Subway Safety Plan,” which aims to render the subway riders safer by expelling the homeless people housing in trains and stations.
Adams claimed that the New York City Police Department’s Neighborhood Safety Teams have collected 2,300 guns since he took office in January. The weapons came from neighborhoods where 80 percent of city shootings had occurred, Adams said.
The former police captain stressed the proposed budget’s emphasis on addressing the three things he believes are the root causes of most of the city’s troubles; guns, mental illness and homelessness.
To combat gun violence he is proposing to raise the budget for the NYPD by $200 million to a total of $5.6 billion next year to pay for overtime and task forces specifically targeting gun violence and street crime.
$55 million of the proposed budget would go to the deployment of EMTs and mental health professionals instead of police to calls that don’t involve violent situations or people.
To deal with the issue of homelessness, Adams added $171 million to the $2.1 billion he previously proposed for the city’s Department of Homeless Services.
The mayor and the City Council are required to reach a compromise on the budget by July 1.