Washington, DC - For the past seven years, the FOP has been raising the alarm about the nationwide surge in crime. All across the country, our communities are seeing the real-life consequences of unchecked crime. In addition, violence directed at law enforcement officers is skyrocketing—it’s the worst I have seen in my 36 years in law enforcement.
We have to address this now with a sense of urgency, which is why I was so heartened to see the recent comments by New York City Mayor and former police captain Eric Adams calling for a return to “broken windows” policing. After two dozen shootings this past weekend, Mayor Adams made it clear that the New York City Police Department needs to re-engage with the community by enforcing qualify-of-life laws. Why? Because it works.
When police are viewed as the bad guys, criminals feel emboldened. When rogue prosecutors hand out slaps on the wrist to serious offenders, criminals understand they will face no significant consequences for their actions. And when police are handcuffed by policies established by local officials and told not to enforce certain crimes, traffic codes, or other quality-of-life regulations, you create an environment in which the criminals feel safe and our citizens are scared. Police officers should be more engaged in their communities, not less. Enforcing the law for “minor” or “nuisance” crimes also shows these communities that the police are invested in keeping the neighborhoods safe for them and their children. It sends a message that criminal behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.
Too many mayors are afraid of political backlash, and prosecutors in too many jurisdictions are abusing their authority by imposing a social agenda instead of enforcing the law. Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell should be commended for their leadership and for trying to make an impact on public safety in New York City. I wish more of our local leaders would step up and address this crime crisis in their communities. Americans should not have to live in fear of crime.