William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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ADAMS'S BIG APPLE – OVERNIGHT:  In office less than four weeks, New York Mayor Eric Adams is already facing intense pressure over crime and the murder of cops.  As mayor of America's largest city, what he does, or doesn't do, will influence the nation.  And people here are demanding quick, effective solutions to rising crime.  From the New York Post: 

Mayor Adams’s long-promised plan to make New York safe landed on the table with a big fat plop Monday. It’s dauntingly complicated, it’s over-stuffed with concessions to grasping social activists and it’s impossibly dependent on actors far beyond the mayor’s control.

But it just might make a difference.

Urban America’s public-safety debate — absolutely unhinged two years ago — seems to be coming full circle.

Back then, the radical battle-cry was: “Get cops off the street!!”

Lately it has become “get guns off the street” — and this is the theme of the Adams plan. But confiscation is never going to happen, at least not soon, and certainly not in sufficient numbers.

So now we are hearing the first faint hints of a return to common-sense law-enforcement — an acknowledgment that it’s now time to get actual criminals off the street. Or, to quote Adams speaking from City Hall yesterday, “We’re going to [target] the trigger-pullers.”

Adams said he plans to reinstate the anti-crime patrol unit, which former Mayor de Blasio disbanded.

To that end, he promised that the NYPD’s hugely successful anti-crime patrols — dissolved by Bill de Blasio — will be reinstated. And that they’ll be deployed to 30 violence-wracked police precincts within three weeks.

Strong words and a promise of swift action, just 24 days into a new administration. This is a hopeful combination.

It’s true that the plan comes with obscure details, beside-the-point gun-trafficking rhetoric and pedestrian pledges to address social concerns linked to crime — and so on and so forth.

The NYPD confiscated 6,000 illegal guns last year, and has collected 350 more in 2021.

Indeed, the lard is so thick that it gets in the way of what seems to be a clear-eyed exposition of what really enables violent street crime: weak-willed policing complicated by wrong-headed penal-code “reforms” driven by deeply problematic radical state and local politicking.

This isn’t limited to New York, of course. It’s driving urban chaos across the country — and the effect is not limited to gun violence. Out-of-control vagrancy, publicly expressed untreated mental illness, organized shoplifting/looting and so on all need to be addressed. Happily, the Adams plan seems aware of these challenges.

COMMENT:  The question, as always, is whether the Adams plan will ever go into effect.  Will Adams be independent enough to take on the wildly left City Council?  Or will he eventually cave to that body, and the radical black establishment, and The New York Times?  New York's first black mayor, David Dinkins, caved in, and that resulted in his being defeated for re-election by Rudy Giuliani.

We await breathlessly.  We fear there may be more killings of cops.  And more pressure on the mayor. Crime may get worse in the summer months.  It always does. 

Late polls show that, overwhelmingly, rising crime is a key issue with the public, with nine months to go until the 2022 midterms.  We live in a decisive year.

January 24,  2022