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The New York Police Department plans to create “neighborhood safety teams” to tackle street crime in what is likely an effort to restore an upgraded version of the department’s disbanded crime unit. .

The undercover anti-crime unit, which sought to prevent gun violence in the city, was disbanded in June 2020 after several high-profile police encounters – including the May 2020 death of George Floyd and the 2014 death of Eric Garner in the hands of an officer assigned to the NYPD task force.

“Neighborhood safety teams will be tasked with combating violent street crime, specifically targeting perpetrators who carry and use illegal firearms,” says a memo from NYPD Chief Ken Corey obtained by the New York. Post.

Weapons confiscated from gang members on display during Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s press conference at the district attorney’s office. (Photo by Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images)

The teams, which will be made up of plainclothes and uniformed officers, will replace uniformed public safety teams and work to remove illegal firearms from New York City streets, the Post reported.

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Officers assigned to the new squad “will carry out their duties dressed in a civilian/uniform hybrid, and their name, rank and shield number will appear on their outermost garment at all times so that the public and other officers can identify them. as members of the service,” Corey wrote in the memo obtained by the Post.

Newly-elected Mayor Eric Adams, a former Brooklyn borough president, previously expressed interest in re-establishing some version of the crime-fighting unit following the tragic shot dead 1 year old Davell Gardner, who was shot in the stomach during a family barbecue.

NYPD to replace disbanded crime-fighting unit with ‘neighborhood safety teams’: report

Mayor Eric Adams speaks at a press conference by Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez in the District Attorney’s office. (Photo by Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images)

“I think a total elimination is something we need to re-evaluate,” said Adams, a former police officer. CBS New York in 2020.” Right now the bad guys are saying, ‘If you don’t see blue and white, you can do whatever you want. “”

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When former NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanded the unit in 2020, he noted that the unit was responsible for a disproportionate number of shootings and complaints.

A holdover from the department’s “stop and frisk” era, the Crime Unit is no longer suited to a department that relies more on intelligence, data and tools like video, DNA and gunshot detection technology to fight crime, Shea added.

NYPD to replace disbanded crime-fighting unit with ‘neighborhood safety teams’: report

A member of the NYPD wearing a ‘back the blue’ face mask. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

“Make no mistake, this is a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this great city,” Shea said, according to The Associated Press. “It will be felt immediately in the communities we protect.”

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In December, murders and shootings were up year-to-date, while other crimes such as burglaries and robberies were down. There were 485 murders last year citywide on New Year’s Eve, 17 more than the number of homicides recorded during the same period in 2020. In 2019, the NYPD only recorded 318 murders, according to the New York Daily News.

The NYPD also recorded 1,562 shootings in 2021, 30 more than the number of shootings recorded in 2020.

Fox News’ Greg Norman, Rebecca Rosenberg and Bryan Llenas contributed to this report.


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