Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani

Mayor's WINS Address
Sunday, May 17, 1998

To Make More Progress in the Fight Against Drugs, We Need Your Help
by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani

Over the last five years, the Police Department has made major headway against drug crime. Drug arrests reached an all-time high last year, and so did drug and drug currency seizures. Areas of the city that used to be overrun by drugs are once again places where people can live freely and peacefully.

The NYPD's effectiveness in addressing drugs has been one of the keys behind the overall reduction in crime throughout New York City. Over the last five years, these efforts have enabled crime to be reduced by 47.5 percent - and homicides by 70 percent.

But we need to do more together as a city to make our streets, neighborhoods and schools even safer, and to show our children what living free and independent lives is all about. Last October, I outlined a major anti-drug offensive that addresses the problem of drug abuse by enhancing treatment, education and law enforcement. This campaign is now underway, with five NYPD anti-drug initiatives in operation and four new initiatives scheduled; the number of drug-free school zones increased from 40 to 100; the number of schools in the Safe Corridor program doubled from 120 to 240; and seven parks made into drug-free zones.

All these improvements and others will put unprecedented pressure on drug dealers throughout the city - but we still need to do even more, because drug abuse continues to be a major, complex problem.

That's why we're counting on New Yorkers throughout the city to do their part and report drug activity in their neighborhoods directly to the police. This week, with Police Commissioner Howard Safir and executives from McCann-Erickson advertising, the city unveiled a new ad campaign promoting the Police Department's anti-drug hotline. The hotline enables New Yorkers all across the city to report drug activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free number is 1-888-374-DRUG (1-888-374-3784).

We should all be inspired by the example of anti-drug activists like Maria and Carlos Hernandez, who fought relentlessly to rid their Bushwick neighborhood of drugs despite death threats from drug dealers. Eventually, one of those threats came true: in 1989, Maria was shot and killed, leaving behind her husband and three children. But Carlos was not swayed. He continues boldly to fight against drugs. If each community member plays even a small role and does his or her part to work with the police in the fight against drugs, ridding neighborhoods across the city of drug abuse will be more than a goal - it will become a reality.

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