In a bold rebuke of failed police and police reforms, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said the New York City crime wave is due to bail reform and movements to defund the police.
“We’ve got to have hard discussions about this ‘defunding the police’: It is a recipe for disaster,” Shea told “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. “We’ve got to talk about laws that really need to be changed.
“We need to be reminded about what’s important. Victims are important. Let’s strike that right balance between being fair to the accused but not throwing out the rights of victims as well.”
The crime wave began even “pre-COVID,” as “shootings were up over 20%, almost every category of crime was up over 20%, and it was still winter time,” Shea told host John Catsimatidis, adding police reforms are “100%” to blame.
“People will attack me and continue to attack me, but I’m not going to be quiet when I know what’s right for New Yorkers here,” Shea added.
The lack of safety in New York City – due to “dramatic decreases in the prison and jail population” – is doing as much damage as economic shutdowns in leading Americans away from the once-safe and bustling city, he said.
“We went from the lowest all-time shooting and homicide rates in New York City to a 91% increase in shootings as sit here today,” Shea continued. “Clearly, we want to be talking about people fleeing to New York City. Not the reverse.”
Bail reform has kept criminals on the streets, not off them, according to the commissioner.
“When you have people arrested 20, 30, 100 times, and these stories we’ve all heard them, and you don’t trust judges to make a determination that this person should be in jail? It really defies logic,” Shea said.
And political leadership missteps has caused police to get off the streets, he concluded.
“At the detective level, we are seeing an incredible amount of talent leave, and it is a major concern,” he said. “You don’t just hire a detective. Those men and women are like treasures.. And they are cultivated over sometimes decades of experience and knowledge. And you just don’t replace them. Anything that can be done to slow that talent drain walking out the door.”