NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Crime has been spiking in New York City — with shootings and murders up — and the NYPD is preparing for a long summer.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, top brass at the NYPD announced a plan Monday to keep crime down, amid concerns that gun violence is spiking even before the hot weather hits.
In Sunday afternoon in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, a man pulled out a Glock with a magazine that holds 30 rounds, and opened fire on Malcolm X Boulevard. He fired 22 times, and wounded an innocent bystander, police said.
The victim, a 50-year-old man, was struck under his armpit and on his right shoulder, police said.
It was just once instance of firearm violence that the NYPD is trying to get under control.
“We’re struggling with homicides and shootings,” said NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill.
O’Neill said compared with the same time period last year, shootings are up 9 percent and homicides are up more than 20 percent.
Deputy NYPD Commissioner of Operations Dermot Shea said there were 31 homicides in New York City last month, and 81 percent involved guns, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported. There were a total of 134 shootings in the city overall in May.
O’Neill said the violence is largely driven by gang rivalries. Many of the alleged perpetrators of gun violence are either gang members or people out on parole, officials said.
Shea said the perpetrators often did not even have a motive.
He said groups “seem to be shooting each other for absolutely no reason.”
Among the incidents blamed on gangs is the murder of 14-year-old Christopher Duran in the Concourse Village section of the Bronx 10 days ago.
O’Neill said certain neighborhoods present a particular challenge, including Concourse and Mount Eden in the Bronx, and Brownsville in Brooklyn.
In Bedford-Stuyvesant, there are many theories about the spike in violence. Some worry about young people feeling disconnected.
“They’re not a part of the community. They’re just here,” said neighborhood resident Gregory Cantey. “It’s a difference.”
Yak Johnson of the neighborhood said the spike in crime could be attributed to “poverty — no jobs, no money. Guys out here, they’re angry with each other — that’s what happens.”
Anticipating a spike in violence during the hot weather, the NYPD has moved early to beef up patrol presence in the most troublesome precincts.
“Right now as we speak, more than 330 officers normally assigned to non-enforcement roles are at the Police Academy getting trained for our Summer All Out Program,” O’Neill said. “We’re starting All Out a lot earlier this year. Those officers will be on the street by June 8.”
But he said it was not just a matter of bringing in more officers, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“We need everybody in the city to help us – not just our criminal justice partners, but the community also – to knock these numbers down,” O’Neill said.
The gun violence spike comes up as stop-and-frisk interactions have dropped significantly versus the years when Michael Bloomberg was mayor.
But O’Neill said he does not think police officers are sitting back.
“The officers are engaged,” said Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez. “They’re still focusing on the quality of life offenses.”
The number of stop, question and frisk interactions has dropped dramatically since last year, which was the first year of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. In the first quarter of this year, there were 7,135 stop-and-frisk encounters, compared with 14,261 in the same period last year.
In the first quarter of 2013 – Mayor Bloomberg’s last year in office – there were 99,788 stops. In the same period in 2012, there were 203,500 stops – an all-time high going back to Bloomberg’s first year in office in 2002.
But police brass insisted that stop-and-frisk actions are simply being deployed in a more targeted and focused way.
Police emphasized that crime overall – including property crime and assault – is down 6 percent so far this year.
Police also said total of 45 guns were confiscated this past weekend.
All images and written content is property of the listed RSS FEED if you would like more on this story and images please click the listed feed. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/feed/