December 7, 2022
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Despite high crime, Adams praises precinct commanders at rare face-to-face meeting

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Mayor Eric Adams met with the city’s NYPD precinct commanders Saturday afternoon inside police headquarters.

According to people in the meeting, many commanders thought they were going to be put on the hot seat, but that wasn’t the case.

“You walked away with thinking your mayor supports you,” said one commander who wanted to remain anonymous. “No one was being targeted or cut off.”

According to a source, tables in the auditorium in police headquarters were put into a large square so every commander could participate in the discussion, and no one was taken to task.

Since the meeting was called for a Saturday afternoon, many commanders feared they would be grilled about crime and violence in the neighborhoods they are responsible for keeping safe, but according to people who attended the meeting, Adams broke the ice by asking each commander if they were a Yankees or Mets fan.

“It was hard to get the mic because so many people wanted to speak,” said the commander who wanted to remain anonymous. “The mayor listened more than he spoke. He really wanted to hear our ideas.”

Adams is a retired NYPD captain who campaigned on fighting crime, but there's been a drastic increase in robberies, burglaries and grand larceny since he took office at the start of the year. Shootings remain at the same disturbing level as last year. Murders have decreased by 13% this year compared to last year during the same time period.

“The mayor and command staff of the NYPD had a productive meeting today with precinct commanding officers,” said Chris Monahan, president of the Captains Endowment Association. "But, not discussing the real issue of the crime increase, is counterproductive. We must discuss the over-zealous CCRB and their lack of experience, prosecutors who refuse to charge or prosecute crimes and the state legislature which is okay with keeping violent criminals on the streets.”

It's unusual for a mayor to meet directly with precinct commanders and not the police commissioner or top chiefs about these issues.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks were in attendance, along with between 70 to 100 commanders, police sources said.

According to those in attendance, Adams told the precinct bosses to get out from behind their desks and hit the streets so they are more visible and engaged. Adams also advised them to motivate the officers in their commands.

In a statement before the meeting, Fabien Levy, the press secretary for Adams, told NY1, "The mayor meets regularly with Commissioner Sewell and other top leaders at the NYPD to discuss the city’s crime prevention strategies for both the short and long-term. As he has said, he is a general who leads from the front and someone who keeps his pulse on what is happening across the city, so it is imperative that he remain in constant contact with his law enforcement team."

The police commander who wanted to remain anonymous said most precinct bosses were content with the meeting Adams held.

“He should have more of these. It’s good to hear from your mayor,” the police commander said.

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