Op-Ed: The NYPD Says Crime Is Down – Thank You Police Officers!

By Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! This season speaks to a sense of unity, togetherness, and is the opportunity to express gratitude for what we have in our lives. As your Assemblywoman, I am thankful for all of you and wish you the absolute best in the coming year; but I am also thankful for the brave men and women who keep our communities safe. During a recent conversation with the NYPD 100th and 101st Precincts, which patrols our community from Broad Channel and throughout the Rockaway peninsula, I was told some great news – crime is down! That is welcome news and certainly something all of us can be grateful for and celebrate.

Every month my office attends the Precinct Council Meetings. This is a great place to learn what’s going on, hear crime statistics, and important safety tips right from the Commanding Officers, the Community Affairs Officers, and the Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs). It also gives residents the chance to talk directly to the police. One thing that has been mentioned is that throughout New York City, five of the serious crime categories tracked by the NYPD declined, which includes murders, rapes and burglaries, each down by 10%. In addition, the City had a 5.6% drop in overall crime. In the 100th Precinct, grand larceny for automobiles is down 31%, and burglaries are down by over 25% year-to-date. In the 101st Precinct, shootings are down 46.2% year-to-date and robberies are down over 2%! That is great news and I truly thank our brave men and women in blue who are keeping us safe. I’m sure all of you thank the police too!

As your State elected official who represents you in Albany, I fought off any calls to defund or harm the police. This year I was responsible for a 24% increase in the budget for the New York State Police. I also worked in tandem with several different District Attorneys and police officers on continuing to amend the bail laws which included removing the existing standard that had required judges to make pretrial decisions based on the “least restrictive means.” An additional step I was proud to support was to grant judges more discretion in setting bail, while also expanding the category of crimes that judges could set bail for. To further help individual NYPD officers, my legislation to ensure that members of the NYPD would be able to borrow from their pension was enacted through the State budget in early May. Prior to this, I was shocked that certain members of the NYPD were prohibited from borrowing from contributions made to their own pension fund. Nearly every other pension fund allows this – and I want the NYPD to have equity and the options they deserve.

As we celebrate the holiday season, let’s give thanks to the NYPD, but also to all members of the FDNY, our EMTs, our amazing Volunteer Firefighters, and our men and women in uniform, all of whom help us in times of crisis. They are heroes. They keep us safe, and when they need something, I roll up my sleeves and find a way to help.

I wish everyone a very blessed and joyful holiday season and a happy new year! As always, do not hesitate to contact my office by phone at 718-945-9550 or by email at amatos@nyassembly.gov. It is a pleasure to serve you and I look forward to representing you for many more years to come.

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