Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Rafael Mangual Responds to Mayor Adams' Blueprint to End Gun Violence
Mayor Adams’ speech today regarding New York City’s crime problem hit many of the right notes, bringing a refreshingly urgent and aggressive tone back into City Hall, and highlighting several promising initiatives.
Included among the promising ideas:
- the targeting of limited law enforcement resources to the highest-crime areas with a focus on gun violence reduction—a goal best-served by pursuing strong cases against likely shooters as opposed simply chasing gun seizures;
- the expansion of the NYPD’s gun-violence suppression unit; and
- the use of technology, including facial recognition, to inform the city’s approach.
While it was encouraging to hear Adams call on the state legislature to reconsider recent reforms related to bail, discovery, and “Raise the Age,” it remains unclear whether Democratic lawmakers in Albany will play ball, highlighting one of the biggest challenges to the mayor’s goal of returning to pre-pandemic crime numbers: state lawmakers, city council members, and local DAs and judges whose approach to reform risks undermining public safety.
New Yorkers can be sure that the mayor’s tone will be criticized as mismatched with the size and scope of the city’s crime problem. Many criminal justice reform advocates have been keen to remind those of us worried about the post-2019 violent crime spike that conditions were far worse in the 1990s. Mayor Adams deserves credit for rejecting the idea that we should be satisfied by such comparative statistics. New York has long held (and should continue to hold) itself to the highest standards—standards that cannot be met while measuring our success against a backdrop of last century’s failures.
Rafael Mangual is a senior fellow and head of research for policing and public safety at the Manhattan Institute.
To review Manhattan Institute research relevant to Mayor Adams' Blueprint, please visit our Policing & Public Safety Initiative or click the links below:
- Yes, the crime wave is as bad as you think (Wall Street Journal op-ed, Rafael Mangual, December 2021)
- Crime-Fighting Lessons from Summer Youth Employment Programs (Manhattan Institute report, Charles Fain Lehman, November 2021)
- Evidence-Based Solutions for Improving Police Clearance Rates of Shootings (Manhattan Institute report, Anthony A. Braga, July 2021)
- Reforming New York’s Bail Reform: A Public Safety-Minded Proposal (Manhattan Institute issue brief, Rafael Mangual, March 2020)
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