Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams Appears Live on NY1’s Mornings on 1
January 6, 2023
Rocco Vertuccio: Mayor Adams says significant progress has been made in turning the tide on one of his administration’s toughest issues – public safety and crime. The NYPD, releasing its statistics for the month of December yesterday, found significant decreases in crime in several key categories, including murders, rapes, robberies and grand thefts compared to the same month in 2021. There were increases, though, in assaults for crimes, cases of vehicle theft and transit, but overall, the crime index has decreased by more than 11 percent.
Chairman Adams joins us now this morning, this Friday. Mr. Mayor, fantastic to have you with us this morning. First of all, Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary too. A year now you are in office, at least three more. One down, at least three more. Welcome, nice to have you.
Let’s start with the crime figures, Mr. Speaker. No doubt there are some positive numbers, some positive results. Last month compared to December of the year before a decrease in overall crime, a decrease in most of the main categories. You said yesterday and the police commissioner said, speaking specifically about precision policing, making a difference. What stands out in these figures?
Mayor Eric Adams: Well, I think a number of things are how you’re trending. In January, when we took over this administration, we had an upward trend. We had an over proliferation of guns on our streets and a lot of gangs inciting a lot of violence that we were witnessing, these crews just had a total disregard for public safety. And then there were those quality-of-life issues that really fed into crime. Paper plates, illegal dirt bikes, using scooters and other motorcycle accessories to commit robberies. We hit across the board, we put more police officers in our subway system, we had a real initiative on the mental health illness that we were experiencing in our city, and so it was a combination that the police commissioner decided to start the trend in the direction right. In the last six months, you have seen a clear indication that we are headed in the right direction. We must continue like this in 2023.
Vertuccio: And Mr. President, of course again progress, but of course more needs to be done. When you look at all of last year versus all of the year before – overall crime goes up. So we know it’s working in terms of precision policing, what isn’t? What do you think needs to be changed or changed in this new year as you continue to fight crime?
Chairman Adams: If I had to use a term, I would say recidivism. It’s something I shared with my colleagues yesterday, with Reverend Sharpton and Dr. Hazel Dukes at NAN. We had a meeting to talk about how we can have a combined effort to look at some of our other successes. We had a successful year in Albany with some of the things that New York City needed, and we want to see how we can build on that success, and one area is recidivism. We have about 1,600 people in this city who are repeat offenders, they are dangerous, they will continue to commit crimes over and over again. And we need to reduce them and send the right message that our criminal justice system will deal with them accordingly.
And then we have to fix some of the problems in our criminal justice system. People often talk about parole, but it is much more than that. This is a buzz term that only focuses on one area. We have a real problem in our criminal justice system, and that’s what we want to do with our partners in Albany.
Vertuccio: And Mr. Mayor, touching on that meeting you have with the Honorable and other senior black elected officials at the city and state level. After that meeting you said that the outside forces you say managed to hijack the public safety narrative last year. Can you explain a little more about this? What exactly did you mean?
Mayor Adams: Hijack the narrative about our success, not just public safety. All last year we heard that we had an unsuccessful period in Albany last year. This was simply untrue. We went there to get the NYCHA Land Trust funding, we got it. We returned to the hotel. We got income tax credit money to put in the pockets of struggling people. We received child care dollars, a significant amount of money that we received. We had so many victories in Albany and it was hijacked and it was unfortunate when you saw the leadership, that we got together on those things that we agreed to and sent to New York, and only one article was focused on like we had a complete failure and we didn’t.
And we will not allow that to happen in 2023. We will rely on these areas that we succeed in providing for the people of this city and state, and we will focus on those areas that we disagree with and bring to home to find a solution to keep our city safe.
Vertuccio: And Mr. President, let’s talk about immigration. Obviously, something that is affecting our city in a big way. You praised the Biden administration yesterday for announcing those tougher restrictions, automatically deporting thousands and thousands of undocumented immigrants coming from several countries, including Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba. How soon do you think this will help us here in our city? I know you say more needs to be done, but this was the first step. How important is this first step and what do you think is the next step?
Chairman Adams: Well, that was so important. We saw what happened when the border was open and everyone was allowed through. It directly affected our city because unfortunately other municipalities chose to send people only to New York City. Over 36,000 people have gone through our system, about 24,000 are still there. And it’s more than just a bed to sleep on. It’s food, clothing, education, health care, all of these things, and it’s draining the resources of everyday New Yorkers. And it’s just unfair.
And that’s not just unfair to New York City, it’s unfair to Washington, to Chicago, to El Paso. All these cities do not have to face a national crisis. This is a humanitarian crisis that is man-made and man must fix it. And when I say men and women at our federal level, they must do their part.
I want to thank Senator Schumer and Congressman Jeffries; they also lead the democratic part of Congress for what they have done. We initially received several million dollars from FEMA, and we believe there is a significant amount of money in the Omnibus bill that we can request as well, but that will not fix the border crisis. We need to fix the border crisis so we can stop this flow. Yesterday’s step was one of the steps we need.
Vertuccio: Mr. Mayor very quickly, we only have a few seconds left. The governor who will be giving her State of the State address next week, you have a good working relationship with her. Again, it’s just a few moments. What specifically are you looking to hear from her in that address that will help our city achieve some of the things you need to achieve?
Speaker Adams: Housing. We listed a few things about housing. She and I understand the importance of building more housing, there are few things we can do at the state level that would make it easier. And finally, recidivism. She and I both see eye to eye on how important it is to get dangerous people off our streets, and I hope we see some reduction in recidivism as we rebuild our economy. I am excited about her term as governor. I look forward to serving with him.
Vertuccio: Mayor Adams, thank you for your time this morning. We really appreciate it. Happy Friday. Happy first anniversary in office. Thank you Mayor Adams.
Chairman Adams: Thank you.
Vertuccio: Let’s get back to her.
Chairman Adams: Watch out.