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A Recovery For All of Us: Mayor de Blasio Announces Safe Summer NYC To Combat Gun Violence

April 20, 2021

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced Safe Summer NYC, a comprehensive plan to end gun violence and bring New York City back from the COVID-19 crisis.  Safe Summer NYC will deter gun violence with real consequences for picking up a firearm and create disincentives to turning to a life of crime by providing real, positive alternatives for young people. With a focus on the Community, Cops, and Courts & Justice System, the plan has three distinct components: increased investment in communities, strategic police presence in targeted areas, and greater coordination across the justice system.

"A recovery for all of us means every New Yorker is safe and feels safe in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Safe Summer NYC is the comprehensive roadmap to end gun violence and bring our city back stronger than ever.”

COMMUNITY: Investing in Neighborhoods

  • Double Cure Violence workforce across 31 sites
  • Double Summer Youth Anti-Violence employment slots from 800 to 2000, both during the summer and throughout the year 
  • Launch Operation Safe Parks and Gang-Free Zones—a partnership between the NYPD and community stakeholders—to provide safe, protected places for people to congregate free from violence and with peace-of-mind
  • Host Saturday Night Light games at 100 sites citywide
  • Completely refurbish 15 basketball courts at NYCHA developments by August, as well as four basketball courts and a new soccer pitch at Colonel Charles Young Park in Harlem by July
  • Increase Tip Rewards up to $5,000 Drive Community Engagement  
  • Hold anti-violence fairs in 30 neighborhoods across the city

COPS: Strategic, Precise Deployments to Targeted Areas 

  • Precise police presence to prevent gun violence by targeting gangs and crews with a focus on the 100 blocks with the highest rates of gun violence
  • Enhance patrol strength ahead of summer by shifting approximately 200 officers from administrative assignments to key areas 
  • Strengthen federal partnerships embedded with NYPD to perform rapid tracing of firearms used in crimes and prevent the proliferation of illegal guns on city streets
  • Expand the Community Solutions Program, a strategy that uses community-based organizations, City services, and NYPD response to connect community members to resources and improve their neighborhoods
  • Expand ShotSpotter by 8.78 square miles
  • Re-Launch Ceasefire, a program that uses credible messengers to deliver strong message to high-risk populations with goal of decreasing violence without increasing arrests and incarceration 
  •  Launch a Gun Buyback Advertising Campaign 

COURTS: Coordinate Across the Justice System 

  • Work with the Courts to implement its comprehensive plan to expand in-person operations
  • Launch a collaboration between DAs, NYPD and MOCJ to mobilize resources focused on the most serious gun cases
  • Unveil the NYC Joint Force to End Gun Violence—composed of members of NYPD, Cure Violence providers, District Attorney offices, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, City agencies, local community groups and law enforcement organizations—to bring an individualized, sustained focus on likely shooters. The Joint Force will launch in Queens and soon expand citywide
  • Create enhanced services and supervision for pretrial defendants for gun possession cases, which must be matched by State action to support more people on parole across the city

“Our plan involves precision policing, the application of technology, partnerships with other City agencies, and a focus on youth. But the core of it is in the neighborhood policing philosophy: cops and community working together to curb violence,” said Chief Rodney Harrison.

“Public safety is a collective effort that begins and ends with community investment and involvement,” said Marcos Soler, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “With the right balance of deterrence and engagement we can empower our communities to make their streets safe again. Gun violence is a scourge this administration takes seriously, and we will not stop working to end it.”

 “My strategy as District Attorney has always been to focus our resources on the drivers of crime, which are the small number of individuals who are responsible for the shootings and killings on our streets. Those are exactly the cases that will be prioritized to go to trial under this initiative – people who we believe have demonstrated a willingness to harm others, and who continue to pose an active risk to public safety. I commend Mayor de Blasio for adopting a comprehensive strategy to addressing the violence. His initiative, coupled with my Office’s multi-faceted approach, which relies on going after the shooters, cutting off the supply by targeting firearm traffickers and working with Cure Violence groups, hosting gun buybacks and participating in other programs that get our communities involved, will help us stamp out the recent rise in shootings and return to the historic levels of public safety we enjoyed before the past year,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

“We must focus law enforcement efforts on those who prey on our most vulnerable, the gun traffickers and the drivers of gun violence and violent crimes, but we cannot prosecute our way out of this problem,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “Effective strategies for protecting our communities must be multi-faceted and the Mayor has put forth a wide-ranging plan that calls for investing in our communities and our young people with Cure Violence and other programs that have proven to be effective in reducing crime and violence. The safest borough is one where we work with our young people to make sure they never become part of the criminal justice system.”

"It's not enough to interrupt gun violence as it happens. Keeping our families safe and streets secure requires a proactive, hands-on approach with our youth — actively engaging our families with numerous opportunities for employment and personal enrichment that our historically underserved communities have sought for years," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. "Safe SummerNYC represents a significant step toward a future where our neighborhoods are gun- and gang-free, and we look forward to working with our city and community partners to make that a reality."

“We must work together to keep our communities safe this summer,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. “I support the investments in our Cure Violence movement, which has proven effective at interrupting violence on the ground. Let’s begin to heal and unite to end the wrath of gun violence on our City.”

"No one wants to see last summer repeat itself, and this plan is a step in the right direction to prevent gun violence in our streets. I'm particularly excited about the investments and expansions in cure violence and the increase in Summer Youth Anti Violence Employment slots, which have proven to work across different neighborhoods in my district. We know that investing in communities works, and I look forward to the full implementation of the Safe Summer plan." said Council Member  Selvena N. Brooks-Powers

"A plan to fight gun violence must be multi-pronged. Choosing violence is born from desperation. Providing the community with numerous opportunities for engagement and deterrent also shows care. The investments of the Safe Summer NYC program prioritizes communities, like mine, that have been historically vulnerable to gun violence. This is a major step in the right direction," said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel. 

"Every year our city's hospitals treat hundreds of patients irreparably damaged by gun violence. This has been a chronic issue in New York City, and I applaud the Mayor and his team for their launch of the Safe Summer NYC program, which will focus on comprehensive and community-based solutions. By investing in state-of-the-art recreational facilities and increasing the number of seats for summer youth employment, we are turning the tide on this public health epidemic and uplifting communities who have suffered heavy losses because of gun violence,” said Council Member Margaret Chin

“Gun violence has been crippling our community for decades. As city council member, public safety is a priority for community building. Mayor Bill de Blasio's Safe Summer New York City Comprehensive Plan to End Gun Violence is a smart vision for the city. At a time when we have seen an increase in gun violence and shootings and we know during the summer crime unfortunately spikes in our area, it's great to see a plan for investing in neighborhoods and creating strategic police deployments that will coordinate with the justice system in our area. Gun violence is a national tragedy, but in our area it's so pervasive. It's important to find the people who are creating the violence and make sure that we keep the community safe. Mayor de Blasio's plan for curbing street violence will work because it's not just one plan it's a comprehensive strategic effort. The ability to be able to engage public housing, while launching gang free zones, partnering with community stakeholders, increasing advancements for the gun buyback program, while increasing rewards for turning in people who commit violence, and improving that Shotspotter system will improve community engagement with the police department while targeting those in our community who are committing crime. I support this initiative. The Covid-19 pandemic is still among us. So many people in our community are vulnerable. So many families are still suffering. The last thing we want as a community is to feel unsafe and unwelcome. This initiative will be able to keep our communities safe as we continue to rebuild past the pandemic to a brighter future," said Council Member Darma Diaz. 

"Every New Yorker has a fundamental right to feel safe in their neighborhood and should not have to fear incessant gun violence because of the zip code they reside in.  Mayor de Blasio`s Safe Summers NYC initiative will invest money back into the communities most impacted by gun violence by ensuring jobs and activities are available for our youth and will strengthen our partnership with the NYPD, the District Attorneys` offices, cure-violence organizations, clergy, and other neighborhood stakeholders. We know gun violence will not be solved overnight, but I commend the administration for taking the necessary first step in addressing this crisis," said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.

"New York City investing and focusing on preventing gun violence in our communities is always a positive," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Creating new programs like Safe Summer NYC aimed at keeping youth away from guns and violence is a proven way to prevent violence. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for prioritizing a safer New York City and committing to stopping gun violence through investments in communities that need it."

“With summer just weeks away, my community has already seen a spike in gun violence that will be exacerbated when outdoor activities resume in our backyards, parks, and open streets. Our primary focus has always been to preempt gun violence by investing more resources in a community-centered approach while engaging our youth through summer youth employment. I am proud to champion the Summer Youth Anti-Violence Employment effort, which delivers on that promise by creating nontraditional opportunities for our youth to feel empowered and work towards the betterment of their community. Safe Summer NYC is a practical plan that will help accelerate our city’s recovery while cultivating partnerships that will strengthen and protect our community,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis

“Leading up to the summer months, it’s important that we are doing all that we can to engage our youth and provide proactive solutions to stemming the tide of gun violence. We know what works and what doesn’t, and I am grateful for the city’s commitment to investing in violence interrupter programs, enrichment opportunities, and targeted enforcement where appropriate. I look forward to working with our local groups here in Southeast Queens and across the city on this crucially important initiative,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller

“Families around the country and right here in NYC are suffering losses to two pandemics, COVID-19 and gun violence. Families should not have to worry about walking down the street or taking their children to the park or school. With Black and Latino communities disproportionately affected by gun violence, my hope is that the Mayor’s Safe Summer NYC plan is a stepping stone to combat violence in New York City,” said Council Member Francisco Moya.

“The soaring gun violence in New York City is an ongoing crisis. This has unquestionably been an unusual time — with national surges in gun violence — but illegal guns and rising gun violence needs immediate federal, state, and local intervention,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “Every shooting in this city is one too many. Safe Summer NYC looks to holistically address gun violence and address needs of communities to create a safer city.”