NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said the NYPD would increase its presence on more than 20 streets starting Friday night as the city works to curb a wave of deadly gun violence in recent weeks.
"Starting tonight, you're going to seee a combination of things happening," de Blasio said. "Increased NYPD presence at hotspots, at key locations; more patrol officers on foot, in vehicles."
The mayor said the NYPD would be upping its presence at NYCHA developments too.
But de Blasio also said communities would play a larger role in helping stop the violence. "That is key to this. Community organizations walking with police officers showing common cause," he said.
The mayor said gun violence has been a “big challenge in this city” recently. Last weekend, 63 people were shot, 11 fatally, in 44 shootings, police said. On Sunday alone, six people were killed and dozens wounded in shootings citywide, including Harlem.
“This weekend coming up has to be better, particularly in Harlem, where we’re focusing a lot of our efforts to change the reality on the ground,” de Blasio said.
The mayor said members of his administration gathered with NYPD officials and about 50 leaders from the Harlem community to “think about a new grassroots approach to addressing the problem.”
“We will take back our streets in Harlem and all over our city, but we’re going to do it from the ground up,” the mayor said. “We’re going to do it with community leadership.”
The mayor said the plan requires police resources but also community leaders, community-based organizations and local clergy.
Cure Violence groups will help combat crime and gun violence by de-escalating conflicts at the neighborhood level.
And the Parks Department will work with community groups and the NYPD “to put on a host of activities this weekend and beyond to give young people positive alternatives.” Among the activities is pop-up basketball skills and drills event in Harlem hosted by local groups.
There's also a town hall for young people in Harlem next Friday.
Leading the efforts on the ground will be state Sen. Brian Benjamin and Iesha Sekou, CEO of Street Corner Resources.
“It has been a rough couple of weeks,” Benjamin said, adding that “more police does not necessarily mean more public safety.”
“A community-based approach, where we have the police and the community—clergy leaders and elected officials and everybody on the street—working together to protect our neighborhoods, protect our blocks, that is the key to our success,” Benjamin said.
Sekou said groups are encouraging members of the community to come out and become more involved in the effort to curb violence.
“We’re going t