NEW YORK (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – Expect to see more community policing if Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is elected mayor of New York City in November.
Speaking on Monday morning on CNN’s New Day program with program host John Berman, Adams said that as a former police officer and a fighter for social justice, he believes that police play an important role in keeping New York City safe, but that their efforts represent only part of the solution to rising crime rates.
“We have to redefine the eco-system of public safety,” said Adams. “Police, they will have a role, but you have so many other components, like mental health professionals, crisis management team. We have to rethink policing in America, so we can get to the source of the crisis.”
Adams punted when asked by Berman if he would model his law enforcement approach after that of Mayor Bill de Blasio or former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, saying that he intends to follow in the footsteps of former mayor David Dinkins if elected. Adams praised Dinkins for supplementing law enforcement with community policing, a formula that he believes will result in a greater balance of justice and safety.
Describing Giuliani’s approach to policing as “heavy-handed,” Adams faulted the former mayor for his stop and frisk policy that he believes targeted young people based on their ethnicity and where they lived.
“We must use our tools the correct way to keep the city safe, but not to take away the justice of the citizens,” said Adams who was arrested and beaten by police as a 15 year old.
Adams downplayed the nature of heated exchanges he shared with fellow candidate Andrew Yang during last week’s mayoral debate saying, “I wrestled with people who had knives on the subway system during the nineties. I know what it is to go after dangerous people.”
Despite his views on community policing, Adams distanced himself from the views of fellow candidate Maya Wiley, who vowed to cut funding to the NYPD.
“At a time when we’re seeing eight year old children and 10 year old babies being murdered in our city, I just don’t support taking away our law enforcement apparatus as a former police officer and as a person that has fought for social justice in the city,” said Adams.
The Wiley campaign fired back, noting that Adams had endorsed stop and frisk during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor and saying that Dinkins had been too soft on crime, reported the New York Post (https://bit.ly/3p.xLKjA).
“Adams’ amnesia won’t be lost in two weeks,” said Wiley spokesperson Julia Savel. “Democratic primary voters won’t forget about Eric Adams’ hypocrisy.”