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Adams boosts NYPD recruits amid crime concerns

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(The Center Square) — New York City Mayor Eric Adams plans to double the number of NYPD recruits in the hiring pipeline as the city wrestles with concerns about public safety and violent crime.

Adams announced last week that his administration plans to restore two NYPD classes that had been originally cut from the city’s budget over the cost of caring for tens of thousands of migrants.

The move is expected to add another 1,200 cops to the dwindling ranks of the nation’s largest police department, which has struggled to attract and retain new officers following a rise in retirements since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we continue to drive down shootings and homicides at a historic level, these officers will give us the much needed support to continue this success,” Adams said in remarks.

Adams said the effort is part of a broader plan to increase the number of NYPD officers patrolling New York City to 35,000 over the next year. Currently, the NYPD has 33,695 uniformed officers, about 1,300 fewer than the number authorized under the budget.

NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban said the funding is a “major win for public safety” in the Big Apple. He said the city needs more police officers on the street so it can “continue to reduce crime” in the city.

“While the NYPD will always be at the forefront of new technology and precision policing, the police officer is the ultimate crime reduction tool,” Caban told reporters. “They’re the ones who stay on the street corner and let the world know: ‘Not today, not on my watch."”

The move comes after the Adams administration restored funding to the NYPD and FDNY after the city initially proposed budget cuts related to the city’s rising costs of providing housing and other needs for an influx of migrants.

The Adams administration said the city was able to restore funding after saving over $2 billion through the reduction of spending on the migrant influx.

Overall, crime in New York City is down 3.1% year to date, according to the NYPD data. Likewise, shootings and murders are down by double digits citywide compared to 2023 — 19.8% and 23.5%, respectively, the NYPD says.

Despite that, Adams deployed 750 National Guard members to patrol the city’s subway system and expanded random police searches of bags and backpacks in response to three fatal shootings this year. He cited police data on subway crime showing it is up 13% compared to 2023, with assaults on the transit system up 11%.

Recent polls suggest that crime remains a top issue for many New Yorkers, even as Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration and NYC officials tout the data showing an overall decline in murders and shootings.

“We’re driving down crime, we’ve saved lives and we have laid the foundation for our economic recovery,” Adams said in remarks last week. “But we want to keep the success going.”