The NYPD is being tasked with improving security at the city’s shelters as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s review of services for the homeless.
The mayor announced Tuesday that the NYPD will begin retraining all Department of Homeless Services security staff immediately. A management team will also be sent to DHS to help develop a more comprehensive plan to improve safety at homeless shelters.
“I’ve been clear that we are going to own the challenges of homelessness and be transparent about how serious they are and what we are doing to deal with them,” de Blasio said Tuesday. “For the first time, we are reporting thoroughly on the problem. We have substantially increased security, and we are bringing in the NYPD to ensure it is managed effectively. In addition, we are offering enhanced domestic violence services to families. We want homeless shelters to be safe and clean, but at the same time we must and we will continue to move families out and prevent them from coming to shelter in the first place.”
In addition to the retraining of shelter security, the city has begun an initiative to more accurately report violent incidents and plans to re-establish a domestic violence program in the shelter system that was discontinued in 2010.