NYC Boosts Times Square Police Presence After Weekend Shooting
(Bloomberg) -- New York City is adding police officers and deploying undercover cops in Times Square after a 21-year-old man walking through the Manhattan tourist hub was struck by ricocheted gunfire on Sunday afternoon.
This is the second daytime shooting in Times Square in the last two months, following a May shooting in which two women and a 4-year-old girl were struck. Crowds of pedestrians have returned to the area as pandemic restrictions have lifted and Covid rates recede.
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would deploy at least 50 officers to patrol the blocks around Times Square and assign undercover cops to enforce rules around illegal vending in what he called the “Times Square Safety Action Plan.” NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said an investigation is ongoing into the weekend’s violence but that Midtown South will see dozens of more police officers immediately as officers engage with community affairs groups and vendors selling in the area to “get to the bottom of this.”
“We are going to flood the zone in Times Square with additional officers to make sure this situation is resolved,” de Blasio said at a Monday briefing. “We have more and more tourists coming back. They have to be safe and they have to feel safe. We are going to ensure Times Square is very clearly well patrolled.”
While overall crime in New York City has fallen over the past few years, shootings are up 64% in New York so far this year from the same period of 2020. The increase in shootings, hate crimes and quality-of-life concerns made public safety the lead issue in the city’s mayoral campaign and helped vault Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams to the lead in unofficial Election Day voting results last Tuesday. Absentee ballots are still being counted and the city’s election board won’t name a winner of the Democratic primary until mid-July.
De Blasio also said he expects a budget agreement with the City Council as early as today and a vote later this week. He said the budget will focus on fighting Covid, strong fiscal management, jobs, schools, and community-based solutions to public safety. “We believe in a recovery budget for all of us,” he said.
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