More cops shot this year than last four years combined: NYPD
Correction appended at bottom
Wednesday's shooting of Sgt. Craig Bier marked the 10th time one of New York's Finest took a bullet in 2012. That's one more shot cop than the previous four years combined.
Nine officers were shot between 2008 and 2011, according to the NYPD and City Councilman Peter Vallone, who monitors police shooting statistics as the chair of the Council's Public Safety Committee.
Vallone joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call on the federal government to crack down on illegal weapons they say are not only arming criminals, but empowering them to take on law enforcement.
"How many more shootings have to happen before we do something to stop the guns?" asked Vallone (D-Astoria).
During a news conference Thursday, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said he could not give a specific reason for the "spike" in police shootings but Vallone, said it stems from the NYPD's diminished strength.
The force has 35,000 members, down from 41,000 in 2001 and at the moment they are being deployed to more places like movie theaters and houses of worship due to the mass shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin, the councilman said.
"It's clear, we don't have enough cops and there are more criminals on the streets," Vallone said. "There's no one left to patrol the outer borough precincts."
Vallone added that all of the shootings this were in neighborhoods prevalent drug problems.
The shooting of cops "is getting to be outrageous," Ed Mullins, the head of the Sergeants Benevolent Association told the Daily News.
The last officer to die from a gunshot wound was Officer Peter Figoski in December.
Although all of the NYPD shooting victims survived this year, the mayor said the trend is becoming a grave concern, especially in the light of the recent mass shootings.
He again criticized Washington for failing to promote gun control.
"We are still waiting for the leaders of our country and those who want to be the leaders of our country to stand up and tell us what they're going to do about this," he said.
Kelly added that attention should be paid locally to protect his men.
"There are too many guns and too many people willing to use those guns," he said. "We need the community's help and need to know who is using those guns."
This article has been updated to reflect the following correction: The number of NYPD officers in 2001 was 41,000.