Mayor expands Neighborhood Safety Teams, touts success

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A member of the Neighborhood Safety Team in the Bronx on March 21.
Photo by Dean Moses

Mayor Eric Adams and Top Cop Keechant Sewell did a victory lap on March 21, one week after NYPD’s Neighborhood Safety Teams hit the streets.

Neighborhood Safety Teams’ primary purpose is to tackle gun crime, and that is exactly what they have been doing according to Mayor Adams who joined unit members late Monday afternoon at the Bronx’s Police Service Area 7 located on East 156th Street and Melrose Avenue.

The mayor cited that on March 18 the new unit responded to a 911 call of a woman who had received a gunshot wound on 143rd Street. Adams gushed that the teams not only cuffed the shooter but also recovered a .38 revolver that had been defaced. However, Adams declared that this has not been an isolated incident.

Mayor Adams touts the success of the Neighborhood Safety Teams. Photo by Dean Moses

“It’s six days since we launched this program with the Police Commissioner’s leadership. We have made 31 arrests and 10 guns removed from our streets, six days, more than a gun a day was removed from our streets,” Adams said.

Adams reaffirmed that the NYPD’s Neighborhood Safety Teams uses investigative procedures to zero in on known dangerous individuals and gangs, as well as social media to see who is showcasing a gun in their posts. 

“So, they are specializing in understanding how to go and remove guns off our street,” Adams added. 

 Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell joined the mayor in championing what they say are great strides and also thanked the men and women wearing the shields.  

Members of the Neighborhood Safety Team in the Bronx. Photo by Dean Moses
Top Cop Keechant Sewell. Photo by Dean Moses

“Dedicated NYPD officers are doing exactly what we asked them to do right out of the gate. They are relentlessly confronting crime and disorder with laser-like precision,” Sewell said.

It is with this success in mind that the mayor announced that he is expanding the unit to five additional districts. The new teams will be assigned to Manhattan’s 25th and 28th Precincts, Brooklyn’s 69th Precinct, the 114th Precinct in Queens, and Staten Island’s 120th Precinct. 

“We are not going to surrender our city to violence,” Adams said confidently. He also underscored that it’s not just stopping the flow of illegal guns in the city but also the creation and distribution of ghost guns, which have become an increasingly dangerous issue. 

Neighborhood Safety Team shadows Mayor Adams. Photo by Dean Moses
members of the Neighborhood Safety Team leave to go on patrol. Photo by Dean Moses

“We’re going to stop the river of violence that is feeding this sea of violence. And this team is damming one of those rivers with their activity. And we’re going to expand these teams to five of the precincts to protect our streets and our community.  We are going to grow and continue to evaluate, determine that we’re making the right fit to have the right officers that are performing this dangerous assignment but have the right mindset to do so,” Adams said, applauding the life-saving efforts this team is making by being on the front line to take down shooters. 

Adams and Sewell stand firmly behind the Neighborhood Safety Teams as the transformative change necessary to dam the river of violence.  He also pleaded with Washington and on the federal and state levels that the city needs help to get rid of illegal guns and remove violent people off the streets. 

“We’re not going to be reluctant. We’re not going to be fearful of getting it right because we must. The number of gunshots we’re seeing, the number of innocent people being shot, [due to] the failure of stopping the flow of guns in our city,” Adams said. 

Neighborhood Safety Teams inside an unmarked police vehicle. Photo by Dean Moses