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Transcript: Mayor Eric Adams Holds "Community Conversation on Public Safety" on Staten Island

August 24, 2022

Commissioner Fred Kreizman, Mayor's Community Affairs Unit: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We're going to get started now with the second portion. First of all I want to thank you for coming to the mayor's Community Conversation on Public Safety here in Staten Island. All of you participating are true leaders in the community, whether you represent the community board, civic association, precinct councils, violence interrupters, BIDs, tenant associations, and all the other wonderful organizations you represent. So thank you for your leadership and bringing the issues to our forefront.

Commissioner Kreizman: There are three parts to our community conversation. The first one is the round table conversation you participated in with executives of the NYPD, principals, superintendents, agency facilitators and members of the mayor's office. The members of the mayor's office took notes at your table, so this way they could address issues discussed at the tables together with folks at City Hall, the policy makers, as well as Q and A cards on each table to ensure that issues that don't get raised to the dais will get a return phone call directly to you. The mayor's office monitors each Q and A card, logs it and ensures you get a phone call back. So if your question is not raised, do not feel bad. We will guarantee a phone call directly to you.

Commissioner Kreizman: The next portion is going to be directly the Q and A's agreed upon by the table will be asked in the dais. We'll work around the room to get to as many tables as possible, and then we'll direct it to the mayor and he'll have the agency reps. So the run of show is the mayor is going to speak, the Borough President Vito Fossella will speak, and ADA Ridges will speak. And then we'll take your Q and A. Thank you.

Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you so much, Fred. Thank you, Fred. All I know is I love being on Staten Island. And I have been out here probably in the last few months more than others have been throughout their entire terms. And you will not be the forgotten borough in this administration. In fact, when I take the ferry or cross the bridge I have on my AirPods, and I just have Nat King Cole playing Unforgettable. You are unforgettable to me. This island did the impossible for me when I was running. And I was out here several times — I see Michelle over there and others — spoke with Vito a couple of times.

Mayor Adams: One thing I learned about Staten Island, probably you do it better than any other place in this country. You personify, there's not a Republican pothole, there's not a Democrat pothole. There's not a Republican high tax, there's not a Democrat high tax. When the campaign is over, you guys just get to work. And the Staten Island electeds, they come as a unit to say what's best for Staten Island. And I just think it's important for us to understand that.

Mayor Adams: We're doing these town halls all over the city, and we're going to do many of them. I enjoy being among the people, hearing directly from the people, because I think you need to hear directly from us. We are doing some good stuff in this administration. And bad stuff sells, that's just the reality of it. Bad stuff is headlines, it is headline grabbing, it grabs attention. I get so many clicks on social media. Even if I hang out at a restaurant I'm going to get a lot of stories. But the reality is, when you dig into the crevices this administration is moving things forward like never before.

Mayor Adams: And you are going to see a checklist of first times ever. You're going to see a checklist of how we made government work. This city was a mess. Don't kid yourselves. It wasn't you. It was a city of just complete dysfunctionality. You couldn't even get an inspection done in time in the Department of Buildings. You thought that every time someone walked inside your small business from an agency they came with a fine book instead of saying, "How do I keep your doors open?" There was just a constant way of "How do we hurt you as residents?" You were not getting your tax dollars money's worth, you were not getting the benefits you deserve. For 20 something years I have been taking notes on what's wrong with this city and how we need to fix it.

Mayor Adams: And let me give you one more piece before I turn the mic over to you. I want you to do this. Tell me the last mayor that was a civil servant? Tell me the last mayor that was a union member? I don't know another mayor in the history of this city. If you go back and look at all the mayors, de Blasio, Bloomberg, Giuliani, Koch, Lindsay, Wagner, Beame. Go Wikipedia them later today. I'm the only blue collar mayor. I'm the only dyslexic mayor. I'm the only mayor that lived on the verge of homelessness. I'm the only mayor that was arrested, then went into the Police Department to protect our city. There's a uniqueness about this moment. I'm you. You have one of your own that's the mayor of the City of New York. We're not going to agree on everything. In fact, I'm perfectly imperfect. I'm perfectly imperfect.

Mayor Adams: But being mayor's not perfection. It's dedication. 5:00 AM in the morning. I'm up every morning to 1:00, 2:00 AM at night on the subway station, talking to my conductors, my motorman. Going to my hospital, speaking to my nurse. This is not a nine to five job. There's a whole entire city that comes alive after the evening hours. When I walk into a restaurant, you know what I do? I walk in the kitchen and talk to the cooks and the dishwashers. I get on the elevator, I speak to the elevator operators. I walk into a corporation, I talk to the cleaners. My mother was a cleaner. No one would speak to her when she was there cleaning their office spaces.

Mayor Adams: That's why I'm doing this job. And I want to hear from you on how we can do it better, where we're dropping the ball. And from time to time just tell us when we're doing something right. That feels good also. So we're going to turn it over to our Borough President Vito, and then we will get this show on the road. Thank you, Vito for joining us.


Mayor Adams: And now the district attorney was unable to make it, but he brought a representative, ADA Ridges.


Mayor Adams: So just to let you know who's up here with us, I just want to go through our senior leadership that's here. Mayor Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manny Castro. Department of Sanitation for Staten Island Borough Chief Daniel Lindley. Officer of Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol. DYCD Commissioner Keith Howard. NYPD Chief Kenneth Corey. Staten Island BP Vito Fossella, as you just saw. Department of Education First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg. DSS commissioner, one of my favorite commissioners who's hard working dealing with the homeless crisis in our city, Gary Jenkins. ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. End to Gender-Based Violence, I saw all those letters, I was trying to figure that out, Commissioner Cecile Noel.

Mayor Adams: CCHR Commissioner Annabel Palma. Parks commissioner, another great commissioner, Sue Donaghue. NYCHA COO Eva Trimble. DOP Commissioner Ana Bermudez, she has some great programs she's doing around probation. NYPD Chief Maddrey. Deputy Mayor Phil Banks. And to my right, CAU Commissioner Fred Kreizman, and to my left, Stan Allen and ADA Ridges, who you just heard from. H + H president and a great leader over there, CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene First Deputy Commissioner Torian Easterling, and DFA commissioner, amazing for our seniors, Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez. And SBS Deputy Commissioner Gross. So those are the team that's here tonight and we want to now open it up, Fred.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor. Now to get started, we'll start from table number one. Kevin?

Question: Yes. Good evening, Mr. Mayor. So our question. There is a disproportionate allotment of social services in parts of Staten Island that does not exist in other parts of the island. Such as on the north shore where there are currently three shelters in operation and all are in the vicinity of schools. We need a more equitable balance and distribution of social services that does not overtax or burden one community while not having anything in others. What can be done to address these inequalities?

Mayor Adams: When your table's talking about services, are you talking about homeless services? Are you talking about mental health treatment, drug treatment? You know exactly? Can we find out from the table what they're speaking of?

Question: Homeless. Yes.

Mayor Adams: Homeless. Gary, you want to touch that?

Commissioner Gary Jenkins, Department of Social Services: Hi, good evening everyone. Good evening Staten Island. Under the Adams administration we are definitely looking at equity across the city. We want to ensure that areas that's oversaturated, that does not continue. Areas that's undersaturated, that the city as a whole is playing a part in housing, temporarily, our homeless brothers and sisters. So we are taking a deep dive at the Department of Homeless Services, really looking at the portfolio across the city to see, again, where there's undersaturation and where there's oversaturation. Because we want to make sure that we have equitable shelters throughout our city.

Commissioner Jenkins: It's a tough job. The folks that's coming to us are really in a really tough position. But as the city, as you all know, this is a right to shelter city. We are going to be there for our brothers and sisters. But we need everyone to play a part in housing our homeless brothers and sisters. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: And one of the first things I did was to create a chart and graph and spreadsheet that did an analysis of every homeless shelter that we have in the city. We called in all the City Council people. We showed them the numbers, we showed where they're located. And we did something that probably has never been done before. We stated that, help us determine in your Council district, if we have to put a shelter, help us decide where that location is so we're not coming to dictate to you. We wanted to do it in a partnership. But every Council person was brought in and we showed them what Council districts had shelters, who didn't, what were the numbers and what type of shelters they were. Cause we wanted to do it in a coordinated effort so we are not dictating to the council members.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Next table, Ito?

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Our group discussion focused on the youth and mentorship. And our table wanted to ask, can SYEP, the Summer Youth Employment Program, and AGVEP, the Anti-Gun Violence Employment Program, be funded year round for New York City's youth? Thank you.

Mayor Adams: DYCD Commissioner Howard?

Commissioner Keith Howard, Department of Youth and Community Development: So we are actually looking at what those numbers look like. As you know, this past summer... Oh no, we're still in the summer. We had 100,000 young people in our SYEP program. And part of the funding also went to crisis management system providers. I know one, for instance, up in AT Mitchell in Brooklyn, Man Up!, had at least 100 plus summer youth, people that they provided jobs with. So the funding we have to look at, and the mayor will tell you, we have budgetary issues we have to look at with the city. But I definitely see that there is a need for us to invest more in a full-time program.

Mayor Adams: And what we're doing around the crisis management teams is really unique. What I learned on the campaign trail and after meeting with a lot of the crisis management team members, we created a task force with Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright and AT Mitchell. So that's the highest level of our food chain with one of our deputy mayors to partner with AT Mitchell, who's in... He runs the organization Man Up out in East New York.

Mayor Adams: And every agency in the city, there's going to be a representative that will communicate directly with the crisis management team. We found that the crisis management team members were trying to navigate city agencies without having a rep. We had a problem in Harlem where drug dealers were hiding trash in garbage bags on the block. And no one in the Department of Sanitation was responding to the crisis management team when they needed those garbage bags picked up. Now they're going to have a representative that's going to speak directly.

Mayor Adams: Or the crisis management team can come and say, "We need to close down this street to have a peace rally." They had to navigate the bureaucracy of all the different agencies to get the permit. Now they're going to have a representative that's going to speak directly with them.

Mayor Adams: The police and crisis management. Those are our Marines. They're on the ground. They should not have to navigate the other agencies on getting what they need to alleviate the violence that they're seeing. 100,000 summer youth jobs, first time in New York City's history. We had the Summer Rising program, 110,000 children with schools remained open throughout the summer. Our children had a safe place. We are getting ready to put in place extended youth program, while schools would be open after school hours with the nonprofits that's using the space. You are not going to have to pay the school safety agents to clean up the place and all the other things, we're going to pay for that. If you're using your sweat equity, we're going to pick up the cost for you using your sweat equity.

Mayor Adams: We're getting ready to roll out a 100% paid internship program all year round for our young people so they could have jobs all year round. We're building out a new CTE while children can get basic skills. HVAC, carpentry, electrician, plumbing, so they can get the real jobs that they need. So we know the best way to stop violence is to start employing. And we are going to focus on our young people to make sure we do that.

Mayor Adams: Now with all that said, if Bay-Bay wants to keep carrying a gun and create violence, the NYPD's going to do its job. It's intervention and prevention. We're not going to allow violence in our city and see what we are seeing with these guns in our city.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Thank you. Table number three, Anthony?

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. The group would like to ask, are there plans to provide more resources on Staten Island for city run health services as it pertains to mental health, substance abuse and general health screening?

Mayor Adams: I'm going to turn it over to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Easterling?

First Deputy Commissioner Torian Easterling, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Anthony, thanks for the question. Good evening, Staten Island. It's a really important question. I will say that we are always thinking about our commitment to increasing services for addressing mental health. What we have seen during COVID is that this pandemic has really shone a light on the need to address stress and anxiety and depression. And we are continuing to make additional investments beyond just mental health, but also substance use abuse as well. And so the entire universe of behavioral health services are absolutely needed.

First Deputy Commissioner Easterling: One thing that I can talk about, and we just made an investment this city to expand our support and connection center, to think about long term support, as well as short term support. So stabilization, engagement, providing case management, wraparound services for individuals who we know who could be faced with severe mental illness. But we also know that we need to be able to engage them and meet people where they are.

First Deputy Commissioner Easterling: The other thing that I want to talk about is we have seen the federal government expand the way that they're offering our hotline services. So the federal government has launched 988, a nationwide service that will allow people to connect with them 24 hours, seven days a week, to answer questions around stress and anxiety and depression. This builds upon the city investment of our NYC Well, to connect to all of our services across this city. And we know that it's very much needed not only for our adults, but also for our young folks. And so I think these are the steps that we're continuing to take and also partnering with our colleagues at NYC Health + Hospitals, to make sure that we have boots on the ground. Like through our SHOW van, which is a model award initiative that allows us to bring those services into the community where people are.

Mayor Adams: And this is a real problem, the question that was asked. Mental health is a real, real crisis. I don't know if COVID aggravated it more. Remember when we took office, those of you who used public transportation, particularly the subway system, it was inundated with encampments, tents, cardboard boxes. We stated we were not going to do previous administrations and walked past people living on the streets. The first month in January, I went out. I've spent time in those tents, in those cardboard boxes. And I spoke to people who were living on the streets and in our subway system. And let me tell you what you saw inside was unbelievable. Human waste, drug paraphernalia, stale food, uncleanliness.

Mayor Adams: And so we did our initiative. Week one, we went into the subway system with TA employees, mental health professionals. The first week, we were only able to get 22 people to respond to our call to go into our Safe Havens bed and shelters. We went back, we created brochures to show people what the Safe Haven beds were looking like. We're now up to taking almost 2,000 people that were living on our subway system and are now living inside our Safe Haven beds in our shelters. We were able to give them the wraparound services that they deserved.

Mayor Adams: You can't just act like you don't see the problem. There's nothing humane about people living on the street in those conditions and a large number of them when I spoke with them, they were bipolar. They were dealing with mental health issues. They don't go to the hospital until their chronic disease is in a crisis state. That is not how we should be spending taxpayers dollars. And we're going to continue to lean in that, but we need help from the state. We got to open these health, mental health, these psychiatric beds. We must give people who can't take care of themselves, the wraparound services they deserve, and we need help to do that.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you, next table. Lamoda.

Question: Good evening. Mayor Adams and panel, please forgive me. My table here, they came up with seven questions and they did not have the opportunity to choose. So this is, I'm just going to choose the first one. And if we get round, please allow the table to choose one. If we get back around. And the question is, there's a housing called Park Hill. It's not a part of NYCHA, but it's federally subsidized. However, they're saying — the table is saying they have the same issues as NYCHA. The police are not allowed to do verticals. Why are the rules different for this particular housing than the NYCHA houses? When it comes to public safety, they're experiencing a lot of issues. They're not getting stoves, they're not getting refrigerators, et cetera.

Mayor Adams: First of all, thank you for that. Let me let you in on a secret. When I was a rookie cop and I lost my housing for a little while, a friend of mine let me stay in Park Hill with him for two weeks. So I know Park Hill very well. I would tell you I met a shawty there, but I can't say that on TV. And you're right. We need to specifically look at Park Hill. So can we table that? Let's ask a second question. And when we leave here, can a group of you that are familiar with Park Hill come and I want to figure out exactly what we need to do over there because I was there during the campaign. And there's some real issues there. I need to understand who owns it, exactly what's happening. Is it the landlord? Because that's a beautiful piece of real estate if it's treated with the respect that it deserves. So get your second question. And I want us to just caucus on just specifically on Park Hill. The team is going to speak with you on that.

Question: Thank you, Mayor Adams. The second question is pertaining to a Home Depot on Targee Street. Apparently the sanitation is horrendous over there. So the question is Home Depot responsible for cleaning up around the streets over there or is sanitation? And whichever one is responsible, why isn't it being cleaned?

Mayor Adams: Thank you for that. And I'm going to stop by there when I leave the island today. I'm going to go by there. I know the exact Home Depot you're talking about. Department of Sanitation?

Daniel Lindley, Staten Island Borough Chief, Department of Sanitation: Good evening. Home Depot is responsible for 18 inches from the curb and their sidewalk. We've had multiple issues with Home Depot. Just recently in partnership with the DA, the DA sent out an email to Home Depot to start cleaning up because they were lacking of doing that. They didn't have the resources. I had been sending crews over there. Today was one of the days that we sent them over there. It's an ongoing issue, but they have been improving.

Mayor Adams: So listen, I'm going to go over there today. When I leave here tonight, I'm going to take a ride over there and we're going to have SBS get in contact with their corporate office. And if we can ask them to do right, we need to get over there and start hitting numbers, make it costly not to do right. It's not acceptable that they're saying they're going to do right. And those who live in that area, if you see after we get them to clean up, if you see the problem persist, please send us a photo. Keep us on track with that. And I'm going to speak with the commissioner of DSNY. Even if we have to clean up and then charge them for it at a high cost, we got to get it done. You cannot have a dirty community because somebody's not doing their job. That's not acceptable. So I'm going to take a ride over there today when I leave here.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Next table. Fernando?

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. This group will like to thank you because you have come to Staten Island twice in one month. And you're the only mayor that has done that in their lifetime. The question from this wonderful group, blessed group, cause we also have two pastors here. Is there willingness on your part to commit administration decision makers to come to Staten Island on a bimonthly basis to assess meaningful ways to commit resources to address social determinants of life in Staten Island?

Mayor Adams: Hold on. Hold the mic. Hold the mic. I got to understand that more. Draw that a little more for me.

Question: So the question is can we have officials that could look into what is really happening in our communities here to be able to work with the nonprofits and to be able to target those resources and to come in a consistent basis so they could get a good assessment on what is really happening on the ground?

Mayor Adams: So do this [inaudible] I want to fully understand this. Can this table also that I ask the question, can we just caucus this a little after this? So I could really drill into understanding what you're asking? Because there's a pastor out here that I met, that he was doing something and focusing on nature, his name...

Question: Right here.

Mayor Adams: So I'm going to come, let's come back and let's just drill into, I want to really understand that question. Okay?

Question: Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thanks. So, next table. Mohamed.

Question: Hello. Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Question of this table is how can the city make sure our communities have the proper infrastructure to support the influx of homeless shelters before opening in our communities?

Mayor Adams: Gary?

Commissioner Jenkins: How you doing? Would love to have that conversation because we are a transparent administration. So to sit down and we speak with the elected officials. We speak with the Council members. We speak with all elected officials. And as the mayor said earlier today, we want the electeds to let us know where are these buildings? What's appropriate for us to open these shelters? So it's an open dialogue and I'm making myself personally available. If you want to sit down, let's have a conversation, I'll bring my team and we can have that talk.

Mayor Adams: And you have to have the right infrastructure. If I'm understanding the table correctly, if you are going to have a place where you open a shelter, you must have the right police personnel there. If needed, you must have the right support in the schools that's going to be handling this. That infrastructure is crucial. And what we are looking at every time we place a shelter, we want to make sure there needs to be a support around that shelter for those who are in need.

Mayor Adams: And the goal is we don't want people staying in shelter. We want people to go into permanent housing. That is our goal. Not to be a lifetime in a shelter and put them on a pathway to permanent housing, but you got to build that infrastructure to do so. That includes financial literacy. That includes job training. That includes mental health support. We need to zero in and particularly with the young people grow up in shelter. If you grow up in shelter, you're less likely to graduate from high school. And if you don't educate, you're going to incarcerate. So we have to really catch young people and give them the services while they're in shelter so that they can be able to grow up to graduate from high school. That support is important.

Commissioner Kreizman: So thank you next table. Number seven, Alina.

Question: Hi, good evening. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. We have a vibrant table. Their concerns are really focused around the youth. And the question that they have is how can you leverage your personality and connections along with your background in law enforcement to connect with our teenagers to be more focused on respect, prioritizing schooling, and be law-abiding citizens.

Mayor Adams: It's hard being young. I know all of us try to act like we were ideal kids, but we were not. I was up in the Bronx yesterday. A group of young people were attacking, said they were attacking elders up in the Bronx. I went up to see the elders up in the Bronx. We walked down the block, there was a mosque. I went inside the mosque and I talked to the Imam and some of the other people there. And when we got in there, a group of the young people who were part of that came inside the mosque and they sat down and they said, "We want to talk with you." And they started talking about the issues. This was a group of young people who came from the continent of Africa. They were bullied as children. They were treated poorly. They wanted to sit down and they almost turned into a gang.

Mayor Adams: We're going back up this Sunday. We're going to bring those elders who were assaulted to meet with the young people who assaulted them and sit down and engage in a conversation. So whatever I can do to put our young people in the room, we need to sit down and have a conversation because a lot of our young people are hurting. Two years of their lives were hijacked from COVID. They missed everything they could possibly have. Imagine two years of your life of no socialization. So part of what we must do, we need to really heal these young people and whatever I can do, wherever I need to go, I'm willing to do it because we don't want to lose them. By the time they have a gun in their hand, we've already lost. We already lost the battle. So we have to be more proactive, more upstream and I'm willing to do whatever I need to do. And if you have some ideas, please let me know because we are receptive to figuring out how to get it right.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Take-

Mayor Adams: Hold on. We got to process. We're going to get to you, but there's a system. We're going to follow the system. Okay?

Commissioner Kreizman: Next table, Alex.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Good evening.

Question: Now that New York residents are able to conceal a weapon, how will the police, public safety and security guards operate? Do you think this will affect community policing in a negative way?

Mayor Adams: Going to turn it over to Chief Corey.

Chief Kenneth Corey, Chief of Department, Police Department: Thanks for this softball question. Okay. So will it affect policing in a negative way? It's certainly going to make the job of a police officer harder, right? There's no doubt about that. There's a lot of challenges that come along with it and listen, we're on record as being, it's something that we're opposed to, but we obey the law. This is what the law is. We're going to follow the law. We're going to find a way to do it. Our officers will all be trained in the new law and how to approach people professionally and constitutionally.

Chief Corey: But New York City is really different from other parts of the country and the thought of people walking around potentially starting shooting in crowded places like Times Square or the subway system are very, very dangerous. So the state has enacted a number of measures to try to offer a level of protection. You can't carry a gun in Times Square. It's a gun free zone. Permit, no permit. You can't carry a gun there. So the officers who are there are going to know that you can't carry a gun into a private business, into a private property, into a facility like this. Unless the business owner specifically permits it by advertising that it's allowed. But one thing about New York City police officers is that they are very adaptable. They are very resilient and they will rise to any challenge that comes up. So as we continue to work through that, I'm very confident that we'll be able to meet this head on.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Next table. Angelica.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Our table is concerned with quality of life issues, such as trash, drug use and gang activity at Tappen and Tompkinsville Park. How are agencies and mental health programs working together to address this crisis in a timely manner?

Mayor Adams: Yeah. So just ask the table. Does that happen all day, all night? Is it at a certain time? Just if anyone at the table can answer that.

Question: All day. Day and night.

Mayor Adams: Day and night?

Question: Mayor, can I just say one thing?

Mayor Adams: The mic. She'll give you the mic. She'll give you the mic.

Question: Tompkinsville Park and also includes Tappan Park. But Tompkinsville Park in particular is a very small park, but it is the park where Eric Garner was killed. There's something that needs to happen extra that builds a relationship between police officers, the community, wonderful people like True 2 Life. And that brings people together because we need to move forward and building a better place for our community. And we can't do that if there's not a substantive relationship with the average officer. I'm not talking about a community affairs officer because they're trained to be community minded. I'm talking about the average officer. We need to have real relationships with each other to build a better community together. So we just need a way to do that. And we need to get feedback from NYPD and others on how to make that, how to coordinate that, how to make that happen. And that includes all the city agencies that are involved.

Mayor Adams: Okay. So I guess I'm going to be out in Staten Island late tonight. Because we going to take a ride over to the Tompkin field, to the park. We going to go over to the park and then we're going to do something else. I notice [inaudible] is not here because she couldn't make it tonight. We're going to go to the park with the CO, with the community affairs officers and we're going to hold a meeting in the park with the people. We're going to get Bishop Rice, Bishop brown is out here and we're going to go in the park and let's sit down and let's do something revolutionary. Let's talk to each other. Let's find out what we need in that park to get done.

Mayor Adams: But I'm going to take a ride over there tonight and see exactly what's happening before I go to Home Depot. And let's just see. Sometimes you got to visually see what's happening to see what we need to do. And then we are going to come back out and we're going to hold a meeting in the park and engage with people. Let see. There's some pain there because of the Eric Garner situation. We got that. But as you said, it's time to heal. It's time to move forward so that we can fix the wrongs that's in front of us. And then, can I get your number before we leave also?

Question: Say again?

Mayor Adams: I'm going to get your information before we leave.

Commissioner Kreizman: Next table, Patrick.

Question: Hi, good evening, Mr. Mayor. My table has a question about how to build better community and police partnerships and presence without over-enforcement, without over-policing and making sure that the trust and respect within the community is built between the police and the community.

Mayor Adams: That's a great question. And I don't know if Chief Corey or Chief Maddrey, if they have any input on that. But here's what I learned. We promote in the Police Department. I think we're missing one area where we should be promoting more. We promote if you take an examination, we promote if you're a detective and you do a good job solving crimes. I think we need to promote based on your ability to prevent crimes, how well you are doing in crime prevention. Chief Banks always tell the story about Ozzie Smith. They said, "Listen, he doesn't hit a hundred home runs a year while we're paying him so much money as they short stop." And the owner of the team says, "Well, how many runs did he save?" Because he was a great infielder.

Mayor Adams: So I think we need to really look at those officers and all of you know them that because of their presence, they prevent crimes from taking place and we need to lift them up as well as we lift up those who solve crimes. And that's something I'm going to speak with the police commissioner about how do we start lifting up those officers better than what we do. And that is how you build the relationship. Think about it. Those of you who are not law enforcement, you start your day, you leave your house, you all of a sudden walking down the block and that police officer stops you and says, "How you doing Ms. Jones? I heard your son or daughter graduated last year from school. Really proud of them. Have a good day." You're going to think about that the entire day. You're going to remember that that symbol, that uniform means so much to us and we do not sell that product enough.

Mayor Adams: The majority of times we encounter our police officers, it's not because we invited them to a birthday party. It's because the party was shot up. We need to have more positive interactions with our law enforcement officers. And that is how you build real relationships. And that's what we want to do. Chief or one of the Chiefs, you want to touch on that?

Chief Corey: Yeah. Thank you. And let me just circle back for one second to Tompkinsville Park. And the issues in Tompkinsville Park, which have persisted for many, many years, well over a decade, and it's ironic because we were talking about Tompkinsville and Tappan Parks just this morning on a separate call we had. So I'll basically reiterate what I said on that. And there is a high likelihood of success here that never existed before. And I'll explain why.. And a few years ago, we were finally successful in getting the Parks Department to remove that comfort station that had sat boarded up for decades in the park. Right? We improved the lighting in the park. We got the Parks Department to trim some trees and to make some improvements. And you're right. It's very small. It's a triangle. It's three quarters of an acre. The problems that exist in the park are not for the Police Department to solve. We have a small role there in enforcement. It requires a whole of government approach. It requires every agency, homeless services, social services, park, sanitation, DOT, everybody sitting at this table working together. And that's what was missing before. And that's what the mayor alluded to when he talked about, that the city was dysfunctional. City government was dysfunctional.

Chief Corey: He forces everyone to work together, whether we want to or not. And he forces us all to work together and that's for the betterment of the city. And I've been in this business for 34 years and I've never had that before. When I needed help from other agencies with Tompkinsville Park four years ago, three years ago, nobody helped. Nobody wanted to help. "Not my problem. You clean it up, Corey." But it wasn't Corey's to do. All I can do is kick the can down the road. Now we're actually going to try to solve the problems there. So the mayor will lay eyes on it for himself and we will get to work again. And this time we're going to fix it and we're going to fix it the right way. As to the community engagement, and this also goes to something that you said about community affairs officers being trained, we've begun training all our officers that way. The expectation is that all of our officers treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Chief Corey: Now again, I'm doing this a long time. I am not naive to expect that that happens every day, but we are getting better each and every day. And to that end, we've gone back to doing something that we have not done in a long time. And we take our new officers when they graduate from the academy, we assign them to foot patrols on our commercial strips so that they're walking the streets, that they're talking to people as they're going about their daily lives. They're talking to the merchants, the small business owners that are out there, and they begin fostering that engagement in the community. And right now that's a really small number, but that number is going to continue to grow. And that's the way we change the culture in the Police Department.

Chief Corey: I don't have a switch that I flip or a magic wand that I wave, but I start with the young officers. And before you know it, two years, three years, four years, now there's a huge wave of officers that have been trained to do this the right way, the way that we want them to do it. And I know that Chief Maddrey has some other points to make.

Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, Chief of Patrol, Police Department: Yep. Thank you. And thank you to both the tables for bringing up this very important point about police community relationships, because I know we can't do it without you. And I haven't been doing this as long as Chief Corey, I'm at 31 years, but we need your help and we have to partner up. In terms of the park, I know the mayor is going to lead an event out there real soon, but I'm looking for something very sustainable. So I'm talking about every week, things that are done daily, where our youth officers, our steady sectors are coming out there and spending time with the community, working with the community. And it doesn't have to be something that's long, but it just has to be sustainable and something that's pretty regular. So if our officers are stopping in there for an hour every other day, talking to the youth, playing a game of chess, discussing a book, discussing a movie, anything that's where the relationship is going to build.

Chief Maddrey: That has to be regular stuff, regular, everyday things that we talk about and we work on. We could talk about, "Oh, why do the police stop people?" Or things like that. But the real relationships are built when we just come out there and talk about any and everything, and that's what I'm looking for the precincts. For our youth officers to come out there, for our neighborhood officers to come out there, and to introduce our sector officers out there, our sergeants and our lieutenants, to make sure that we are building a relationship, the relationship you deserve. You deserve to have a good relationship with your precinct. So we're going to start working on that and make sure we build that up. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Thank you for that, both chiefs. And don't miss what Chief Corey said. It's so important what he just said, and I'm happy he said that. Historically, all we knew was 911. We had the police do everything. And then when they did it, we said, "Why did you come and do it?" That's not how we operate. If the police officer identified that, "Hey, here's a problem at this park and that problem equals drug use, homelessness encampment," everybody, the team must come together and figure out, how do we handle this? We're going to call Sue Donaghue from the Parks Department. We're going to call Chief Maddrey. We're going to call Gary from our homeless issues. The team comes together and say, "What piece of this problem do you need to fix?" No such thing as, "Well, that's not my problem. Let the Police Department handle it." We have the police do everything in this city, everything. Call 911, let them handle it. No, you can't do that.

Mayor Adams: That's not their job to do every problem in the city. There are other agencies and those other agencies must respond to the needs that the police, who are the first responders, identify what the crisis is. Now we need to go there as a unit and fix the problem that we are facing. That's how you operate a city as a team, not as individual players. That's how we fix our problem. And speaking of parks, Sue Donaghue, who is an amazing commissioner... Maybe a good idea, Sue, and I would like to hear your thoughts, about even doing a project of design-a-park. Let the community come and design what they want our park to look like and have input in that park. So we should think about doing something like that.

Commissioner Sue Donaghue, Department of Parks and Recreation: Yeah. Thank you, Mayor Adams. And absolutely agree, I think that's a great idea. I think also we've built some great alliances and friends of groups. I mean, maybe that's a tack that we could take here too. Figure out, put together a group of people that are the eyes and ears on the park. And you've got a great team out here in Staten Island and your borough commissioner, Lynda Ricciardone, you have done great, great work in Parks. So we are anxious, ready, willing, and able to step in and help and provide that kind of support, and build that kind of entity that can be the eyes and ears, a friends of group, that can really be helpful in terms of that park. That's my background. I came from one of those groups in Brooklyn, love to help to think that through and how we could do that for Tompkinsville Park as well.

Mayor Adams: So we are going to look. If you would help us establish a friends of group. Okay, good. So, we want to meet. I want to meet with the friends of group, going to bring a commissioner, and let's put some ideas together, how do we design that park? That would be a great W for us. And if you have a friends of group, we are 70% there. Okay?

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Next table. We have Karen.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor.

Mayor Adams: Good evening.

Question: And your cabinet. I'm so glad that all this has been around NYP so far. So with that being said, this table is adamant that they would like to have a NYPD youth community center that's modeled after the one in East New York, Brooklyn. And they would love to have something like that here. And I know Chief Maddrey, who ran a place as such, would know how they could start and have a place like that here in Staten Island. Right guys? Right?

Mayor Adams: I love that. And I'm going to partner with the borough president and the councilman out here and the state senator so that we can all, number one, identify a location where we can do it and see how do we come up with the capital to make it happen. But while we are building and putting a shovel in the ground, we have a ton of youth centers that we don't even see them as youth centers. They're called school buildings. I just don't understand why 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We tell our children welcome, come in. And at 3:00 PM we say, get out and don't come back till the next day. We have gymnasiums, some have pools, some have classrooms. We could teach courses, financial literacy, life skills. There's so much we can do in these school buildings that are not being done. And I say, let's open the doors to them while we're building a youth center, let's use the buildings that we have. But I'm going to speak with the borough president and let's identify a location, I think would be a great project to do.

Commissioner Kreizman: Next table. We have Malcolm.

Question: Testing. Good evening, Mr. Mayor. How are you? First, I want to thank the people who is at this table. I like to call this table Table Empowerment, because we really came together, elaborated on some great topics, great issues. I want to thank the police officer, the entrepreneur, the family, the probation, and also NYCHA. You already touched on the mental health presence, but we do have a question. But our educator who was here that left, she said, you can't answer a question without having a solution. So I'd like to elaborate. Mr. Mayor, what is your plan to hire the professional help to address this urgent mental health crisis issue? Can we partner with city colleges and other universities to provide programs where mental health college students can get their debt waived after working a few years in an NYC mental health facility? And also can we provide incentives to mental health workers, similar to the good neighbor next door program, so they would want to stay and do the job?

Mayor Adams: A great question. And we would really need help from the state to do that, even loan forgiveness, like we do with some of the other professions. I'm really, really pleased with our hire, the head of Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Dr. Vasan. I met him while I was campaigning. He was in charge of what was called Fountain House, where he transitioned people from dealing with mental health issues, living on the street, and into permanent housing. The clubhouse model, the whole program is amazing. We were able to bring him on. He's now my commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. But yes, we're looking for professionals. In fact, we're looking for professionals in every agency. We have a real hiring problem in the city. So if you know folks who are looking for a job, we are asking them, good, qualified people, to apply for these jobs. And the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is looking for professionals to be part of their team there. And so to answer to the table. Yes, we do want to hire professionals in that career.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Next table, table number 13.

Question: I guess that would be me.

Commissioner Kreizman: Tony.

Question: They just did the numbers over. Mr. Mayor, greetings. First and foremost, I just want to say we have some awesome Staten Islanders at this table. A lot of what they had put on the table is reverberating around this room. So it made it kind of difficult to actually come up with a question because they're being answered as we move along. But I asked this question on their behalf. Mr. Mayor, the awesome Staten Islanders here at my table, once again, feel that economic opportunities are the driving engine that would help to save some lives in our community. Can you reemphasize the plan you have to bring jobs to the youth and residents of NYCHA in addition to bringing vocational and technical programs to our schools? And I premise that with the thought process that one of the Staten Islanders here made it very clear. He loves what you're doing. And he said, if you ever were in a street fight, he's jumping in to help you.

Mayor Adams: I'm in a street fight with the media every day, man. You know what? Listen, just to digress a little, the media is so fixated on me. It's amazing


Mayor Adams: We have Lisa from NYCHA. I was speaking with the chancellor the other day about NYCHA and I want to speak with you about it, pastor, also. Everyone looks at those children that may do something wrong in NYCHA. But we have a lot of accelerated learners in NYCHA and we need to go in and give them the additional support that they deserve. We need to help all the children in NYCHA, but you have some children in NYCHA who are A students, B students, on the pathway to go to Ivy League schools, but there's no real support system for them.

Mayor Adams: And so the chancellor and I, we are going to identify those accelerated learners and we're going to build an entire mentorship support program for them. And build a cohort where they can know each other and see how they could support each other as they continue to grow. That was missing. No one has ever looked at those young men and women who are accelerated learners in NYCHA. We have basically told them to fend for themselves. We're going to go get them and we're going to give them the support, as we help those struggling students at the same time. But we want to focus on those accelerated learners also. But I want to go over NYCHA, Lisa, do you want touch on that? Are you on my right or my left? Okay.

Lisa Bova-Hiatt, General Counsel, NYCHA: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. And actually you said it so beautifully. NYCHA really takes very seriously fostering empowerment in our youth. We were actually with the borough president a couple of weeks ago at the Berry Homes where we have a boxing center. And actually, with the NYPD as well. Part of that is, the students who participate actually have to achieve certain grades so that you have the consistency across alerting a discipline, like boxing, and also doing well in school. We have a lot of opportunities for financial empowerment, for business development, for career advancement. And we are looking to continue to foster those programs with the help of the city and other agencies.

Mayor Adams: Commissioner Howard, you want to touch on that? Anyone else?

Commissioner Howard: Yes. Absolutely.


Commissioner Howard: Look at the facility that we're in now. This is a cornerstone, the community center that is run by NYCHA and DYCD. And look at the floor, look at the programming that happens in our network of CBOs that are running it. Shout out to JCC because they are doing amazing things here. In fact, I just had a meeting with them. So let's come on, shout them out. They're doing good work.

Commissioner Howard: One of the things that we talked about, as a pre-meeting to this meeting, was how they want to roll out a tech program in NYCHA to the NYCHA residents. So, I think that the investment is here. All we need to do is do a better job at advertising where it is so that you can have access to it as well. We have seven community center cornerstone programs in DYCD on Staten Island. We also have a number of beacon programs in the schools that do after school programming and deal with the youth. And I also want to give a shout out to NYPD this year for summer youth employment, a record number of 813 kids went through the NYPD. And you're talking about community relationship, you got to give them a shout off of that.

Commissioner Kreizman: And next question to table number 14. Paula.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Our question has to do with resources for the youth, specifically... Wait a second, I actually lost. It is, when can we get a recreational facility in the St. George area and Mariners Harbor in the [inaudible] area, specifically?

Mayor Adams: Are those-


Mayor Adams: Are those two locations — Do you know about those, Vito? Are those two locations that a recreational center is located? Talk to me more, tell me more.

Question: There isn't any one. There isn't a recreational facility. They want a facility there.

Mayor Adams: Okay. So the question is, they would like a recreational center for the youth that are there.

Question: Mm-hmm.

Mayor Adams: That is-

Question: Correct.

Mayor Adams: Okay. Okay. And so, I think that we are dealing with real budgetary restraints, and we want to be honest about that. The question is always ask what is our goal? The goal is a safe place for children to develop their full personhoods. And that includes courses, recreation, information. And I continue to say all over the city, we have those places, those places are called school buildings. We have to open these school buildings up. While we are trying to build recreational centers, there's no reason we are not using spaces that we already have gyms, we already have pools in some of them, we already have classrooms where they can sit down, we have shop classes. We have everything we need in many of these buildings and we keep them wrap up. They only could be used from seven to three. Yes?

Question: But sir, they're saying there aren't. And no schools in Arlington.

Mayor Adams: I'm sorry?

Question: There aren't any schools in Arlington, in that specific area.

Mayor Adams: And those are the areas we should look to build recreational centers in, where you don't have the facilities for young people. So we're with you.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Next table. Attia.

Mayor Adams: I'm sorry, who's your Council person over there by the way? Okay. She's good on youth stuff. We're going to reach out to the councilwoman.

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. There are a lot of needs in our community, including a lack of hope among our youth and safety concerns. But the question, how can we ensure that our NYCHA buildings have the funding we need to be safe? And the next question raised, and how can we increase the access of mental health services to those that are unable to leave their apartments due to concern about safety and lack of mobility?

Mayor Adams: And this is in NYCHA that they're talking about?

Question: Yeah, in NYCHA.

Mayor Adams: Do you want to speak on that Chief Corey or Maddrey, for safety in NYCHA?

Chief Maddrey: Thank you for your question, first and foremost. I mean, all the precincts, the four precincts out here, are responsible for public safety. The housing police don't cover out here, the precincts cover. So we have to ensure that we're out there, that we are inside the buildings, that we're doing verticals. Most importantly, we have to make sure that we are speaking to the community, understand what's going on. If there's specific incidents that we need to be addressing, we have to get your number so at some point we can just understand a little bit better what's going on. So after this meeting, I'd like to connect with you so I can make sure I understand exactly what's going on at any specific development.

Chief Maddrey: And if we're just talking generally, I mean, all the precinct commanders are here, the borough commander is here, and it's up to us to just make sure that we're out there, that we are increasing our public presence out there, and that we're being responsive to the needs of the community. So we'll make sure that message gets out and we'll increase the safety around public housing. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Just ask the table, is there any particular NYCHA residence that they're talking about, or is it in general? Which one? Give her the mic. Where's the mic?

Question: Stapleton.

Mayor Adams: Stapleton?

Question: Yes. Daytime, nighttime, there's always something going on. Three days ago, there was a shooting, daytime, right near the park while kids are in the pool. It's shameful that we can't have our kids go outside and not worry if something's going to occur.

Chief Maddrey: Mm-hmm. And you're a hundred percent right.

Mayor Adams: Okay. All right. So we have the borough commander that's here, and you're right, you need to have a safe space for our children and we're going to really dig into that. We are focused on the quality of life issues that leads to the criminal behavior and some of the dangerous behavior that we have been witnessing in this city.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Next table, we have Andrew.

Question: Good evening, sir. How can your administration increase hope and communication?

Mayor Adams: You sound like a radio host, man. Come on. Like you trying to rap or something. Let us hear you.

Question: How can your administration increase hope and communication to parents and children while improving public and community engagement and safety?

Mayor Adams: Drill down in that a little more for me. Let me understand a little more.

Question: So we're just trying to see how we can increase communication between parents and children to create more community engagement in the city. How do you propose your administration tackles that issue?

Mayor Adams: I don't know. Anyone who wanted to talk on that? You sort of lost me. Who asked the question? Let them drill into... Go ahead.

Question: How are you doing?

Mayor Adams: Good. Good.

Question: So the question basically is talking about how can your administration work on improving family relationships? One of the things that deals with community violence, especially the increase, is that families aren't involved with each other. There aren't a lot of fathers involved with the children. How is your administration going to address that so that we can be preemptive instead of reactive towards attacking that issue?

Mayor Adams: Well, first of all, I like your shirt, fathers matters.

Question: I know. We already had this conversation two weeks ago.

Mayor Adams: Yes, yes. I liked your shirt.

Question: And I have your shirt for you right here, just to let you know.

Mayor Adams: Okay. Please let me have it because sometimes, my son don't realize that I matter too. He does everything for Mother's Day. He never remembers Father's Day until he needs money.


Mayor Adams: There's a group of organizations. I know David is not here, the chancellor, but they have been having a group of meetings with folks like you throughout the city. And I would love Dan... Come on brother. So listen, the chancellor, David Banks, is having these meetings drilling down on what you're talking about. So Dan, can we let him connect with David and be at these meetings where we are talking about these relationships with families in conversation? I would love for you to connect with the chancellor and be at the next meeting that he's having. What is his name? The gentleman that's in the Department of Education that's specifically rallying these organizations and groups? He introduced him...

Mayor Adams: Where's Aaron? Right here. This is the man you want to see, all right, Aaron? This is the man you want to see. He specifically is dealing with that issue that you're talking about, okay?

Commissioner Jess Dannhauser, Administration for Children's Services: Mr. Mayor, can I add real quick from ACS perspective? There's something very exciting happening very soon on Staten Island. The Staten Island Justice Center is going to open the first Family Enrichment Center on Staten Island, and the Family Enrichment Centers are a new model. Families can just walk in, washer dryer, it's set around a kitchen table, parents supporting parents. It has nothing to do with an investigation. It's a real model for parents. If families are really struggling, we also have our Family Assessment Program where we have family therapies where young people are struggling. It's operated right out of our ACS office over here so I'd be happy to talk to you about both of those things after this.

Mayor Adams: And Jess is doing, the commissioner's doing one hell of a job over at ACS. One hell of a job. He's thinking outside the box, he's not waiting until there's a crisis, and so connect with these folks up here. They are really committed to what they're doing so make sure you connect with the commissioner before you leave. Both ends, you got it coming from both sides.

Commissioner Kreizman: Thank you. Next table, we have Rodny.

Question: Good evening. Mr. Mayor, respected members of the Dias. Rodny Carvajal with table 18. So recently, there was a young man that was shot in Park Hill and there was a recent shooting also here in Stapleton Houses a few weeks back. A question that the team came up here is how can we stop guns from entering the community and how can we stop the wrong people from accessing those guns?

Mayor Adams: You want to take that, Chief Corey?

Chief Corey: Yeah. So big challenges, keeping guns off the street. And guns come into New York City, traditionally, they come up the iron pipeline. They come from those southern states that have more lax gun laws and straw purchases, and they come up here and they get resold on the street. And then lately of course, we have a brand new threat, what we're calling the plastic pipeline, ghost guns, where you can order all the parts, make the gun at your kitchen table. That, we need help from the federal government. The mayor's been very outspoken on that. We need them to close that loophole in the law and stop that from happening and go after the manufacturers who make these parts and ship them in.

Chief Corey: On the intervention end, we've taken more guns off the street this year. We've taken over 4,000 guns off the streets. We've taken more guns off the streets than at any time we have in the last 28 years. Think about that, it's an incredible, incredible number. And in Staten Island, we're very fortunate because you've got a great DA in Mike McMahon and his fantastic staff like Tom Ridges that work so closely with the Police Department and make sure that there's appropriate justice, and justice doesn't always mean incarceration but it means deterring the future behavior, having consequences for the action. And that's probably one of the main reasons, well, that along with all the community support that goes on here, why Staten island didn't experience the same surge in shootings that the rest of the city did.

Chief Corey: So, far too many shootings in Staten Island, no doubt about it, but compared to the rest of the city, even percentage wise in the increase, it pales in comparison. And like I said, that's not just because of the relationship between police and prosecutor, but it's also all of the community groups that get involved in that space. I mean, true to life, I see you all up in the back. I saw my brother, Mike Perry over here before. We know that you are out there every night, and there's so many other groups, be it Occupy the Block, be it Fatherhood Matters, be it Mothers Against Senseless Killings out here that engage in that space, and that's the way that we solve this problem, that's the way we turn the tide on violence, is by everybody working together.

Mayor Adams: Yeah, it's a real battle, man. The number of days that we had to show up at the hospital with some of these babies being shot, and it seemed like as fast as we take these damn guns off the streets, they just continue to flow into the city. As the chief stated, I think we're up to 4,700 guns this year, the highest level, and it's just an endless flow. All across the country, this gun violence stuff is a national problem, and one of the most important pieces is the household. We need to really engage in the conversation with our family members. We need to see what's in those book bags. We need to see what's in the mattress, in the pillow cases, we got to really engage in that. I could not bring anything in the house with my mother. She would do a pat down in a minute if she had to.

Mayor Adams: You'll be surprised, some of the things your children are doing on the streets, and it's not that they're bad, it's just being a young person, it's a difficult moment right now. Social media is just screwing our children up, and so the police have a role, our educators have a role, brothers have a role, parents have a role. We got to all do this together. We are losing too many young people to gun violence. Every day, all day, we're hearing these shootings that are taking place and it's traumatizing us, but we are going to do our part and we're going to continue to fight to turn it around.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. Next question, we have the last table, Marcus?

Question: Good evening, Mr. Mayor. Our Staten Island residents are having a real problem with safety and travel. Some of them don't feel comfortable leaving Staten Island, some of them don't feel comfortable getting on the bus or the train to get to the ferry to get into Manhattan, just because of the sheer amount of news that they're hearing about outside with transportation. How would the administration address the safety concerns of Staten Island residents with traveling within the borough and outside?

Mayor Adams: Yeah, real concern, and there's several layers to it. Number one, I know it's hard for people to believe but we have almost three million people that use our subway system a day. We have an average of six crimes a day. Six is too many, I'm clear on that, but when you look at the omnipresence, making sure our police officers are there, very active. We have police officers back on the trains, riding the trains. We are really deploying our police personnel because the best deterrent to crime is seeing that blue uniform, and we know that. We want our officers moving around, engaging in the public, and we're going to continue to lean on that to make sure that it is done. So the visible presence of a police officer plays a great role in deterrence.

Mayor Adams: But when you reading about the stories every day, you're reading about someone shoved to the subway, you're reading about someone slashed, you have a tendency to believe that disorder, that our subway system is a place that is disorder all the time, and in fact, that is not the case. But again, six crimes a day is too many crimes for us. We're going to continue to have the visible presence, go after those repeat offenders that's on our system and make sure our system is a safe system. I policed our subway system during the eighties and trust me, this system was a system that was out of control. But we have a good police force now, a lot of young officers, the new classes are coming out. The goal is to keep pushing down these numbers of crimes to make sure that the system is safe as people are moving around, both on the subways and the buses.

Mayor Adams: I met with John Samuelson, who's the head of the TWU. Our bus drivers being assaulted is unacceptable. I pushed the legislation in Albany to turn an assault on a bus driver or a transit employee to be a felony. We need to prosecute these cases to make sure that people get the right message, that you're not going to assault those who are moving our system every day. But we're making inroads, decreasing shootings, decreasing homicides. We're making inroads but we got a long way to go and we're committed to get to the place that you all deserve as taxpayers.

Commissioner Kreizman: Excellent. And I just want to add one thing. Before we end, I just want to point out Ed Jackson in the back corner. He's our Staten Island board director for the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. Everyone who doesn't know him should know him. I see obviously, everyone does here. He coordinates all the efforts to ensure that the mayor's office coordinates the services. Like the mayor said, there are no silos with this administration. We have these quality of life meetings that our deputy commissioner of operation leads, [inaudible]. Those efforts are done with Chief Maddrey's office on a regular basis, talking about quality of life throughout all agency issues to come together. So whether it be Adam Forman from Deputy Mayor Torres-Springer or [inaudible] task force, it's to cut down... There's no silos. It's a uniform approach to address all the issues, and just thank you again for everyone coming out today. All of you are leaders in the community who listen to the concerns, and you hear directly from this administration day and we want to thank everyone for coming out tonight. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: No, hold on one moment. I see you, brother. I see you in the back. First of all, those of you who are part of the crisis management team, can you stand up? Let's just acknowledge them for what they're doing every day. Thank you. Thank you so much. Appreciate you. And sorry, brother with the red hat. Can somebody get a mic to the gentleman with the red hat? He wanted to ask a question, and that young lady next to you, Junior, that I told her we were going to hear from her, I just want to be respectful for what I said. We're going to hear from her. We're only going to do one brother, we're only going to do one with the red hat. Yes.

Question: Thank you. My name is [inaudible]. I work with True 2 Life and I had a question. How can we make it better for felons who have a hard time keeping a job because of their background check?

Mayor Adams: We are really leaning into that. We've done some great things. There's a bill pending in Albany now called the Clean Slate Bill. We need to really push that through. You've been home for a period of time, no other encounters with law enforcement, living a good life, your slate should be clean. That Clean Slate Bill is a good reasonable approach so people are not penalized the rest of their lives. And so get in contact with your state elected and really encourage them to support that bill.

Mayor Adams: And I've been working with a young brother that's part of End Perpetual Punishment, where you don't have someone do a life sentence after they serve their time. They're home, they're back in the community and they've been back home and living a productive life, you should not hold people back for the rest of their lives. And then we're going to look at some of those licenses. There's no reason you can't get a license to be a real estate agent, a barber and some of the other things because you have served your time already or a person has served the time already. We're trying to remove those barriers as you stated.

Commissioner Annabel Palma, Commission on Human Rights: Mr. Mayor?

Mayor Adams: Yes?

Commissioner Palma: Mr. Mayor, I'm sorry. Can I just add? Hello, here at the end of the table?

Mayor Adams: I hear you but I don't see you. Yeah. Oh, yes, yes, yes.

Commissioner Palma: I just wanted to add, just to the question that was raised and the concern, the New York City Commission on Human Rights is the agency to come to be able to help you navigate through those issues that you are facing because it is against the New York City Human Rights law to discriminate for anyone who has a background to be disqualified for a job if you had a job offer not to have access to housing. So if we can connect after this, we'll be more than happy to work with you in identifying those individuals who are having those issues and we can help them navigate the problem.

Mayor Adams: Thank you, and that's Commissioner Annabel Palma, doing some great stuff over at the Commission of Human Rights. Okay. We got to bounce, we don't want to keep people here all day, every day. Go ahead, young lady. You want to say something before we take off?

Question: Yeah. Thank you for the time. I have a question and I don't know if it's maybe a solution to what everybody here is saying. Everybody wants to build on the persona of somebody but we have to teach people that we are not just this meat body here, that we're souls. And I want to know when the education system is going to change that and educate children on what they really are, their true nature. The education system has changed history. So much of our history is gone. I'm talking about Black American history, a lot of it. And we're teaching these kids how to be workers. We're teaching them all these other things [crosstalk].

Mayor Adams: Hold on, sister. Question, question, question. Got to give me a question. That's why I went to you.

Question: Okay.

Mayor Adams: Give me the question.

Question: Is the school system ever going to change their books to teach true history for the kids? To teach them what we really are, souls, here having a human experience. That's where the change has to come. The change-

Mayor Adams: Oh sister, I got your question. I got your question. David Banks, the chancellor, we're doing everything in our school system to healthy food, meditation, yoga, tea. We don't want our children to be robots. We want to develop their full personhood and we've got the right chancellor that understands the mission to accomplish that. Thank you for your question. Thank you all for coming out tonight. I appreciate you all.

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