NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The NYPD marked a 25-year high in gun arrests last week, Commissioner Dermot Shea said in an interview with 1010 WINS on Tuesday — days after two politicians called for an investigation into an alleged police slowdown.
Speaking with 1010 WINS’ Brigitte Quinn Tuesday morning, Shea said the department “hit a 25-year high in gun arrests last week, the most gun arrests we made in a week in 25 years.”
In an interview with NY1 conducted shortly before he spoke with 1010 WINS, Shea said the NYPD made 160 gun arrests between Aug. 31 and Sunday, 37 of which happened on Labor Day.
“So that should put to bed… any talk of what cops are doing out there. Cops are putting themselves on the line every day, as they have been," he told Quinn. “The problem is there’s too many guns out there, and there’s not enough consequences, and once we get our heads wrapped around that, I think we’ll be in a better place."
Shea’s comments came four days after Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres called for an “independent investigation” into a possible NYPD “slowdown.” Asked about Torres and Adams’ call for a probe, Shea described it as “politics.”
“You cut the budget, you take all the cops off the street and then you wonder why it takes longer for cops to get the jobs (done),” he said. “I mean, New Yorkers are a lot of things, but they’re not dumb. New Yorkers know exactly what’s going on.”
The New York Times on Sept. 2, citing NYPD data, reported that arrests across the city did decline “significantly" over the summer, despite the surge in gun violence.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan told the Times officers were “very occupied with the protests throughout the city” in June, prompting the number of shootings across the city to “climb up.” The COVID-19 pandemic, meanwhile, has fueled the uptick in violence, as “larger and larger crowds (are) standing outside their buildings… together and disputes occur,” he said.
In his interview with Quinn on Tuesday, Shea also addressed the spate of shootings that took place across the city over Labor Day weekend. The NYPD logged 23 shootings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including two fatal shootings in Queens and Brooklyn, he said.
That number, however, wasn’t significantly higher than the average number of shootings the city has logged on Labor Day weekend over the past three years, he said.
“When you look at the last three years, we averaged about, I want to say, 19 (shootings),” he said. “When you look just four years ago, we were higher than that, so… with the way things have been going lately, I would deem that a success.”
“But we have a lot more work to do, clearly,” he added.