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A few nights back, a viewer suggested Mayor Bloomberg should act more like Newark Mayor Cory Booker. The popular politician is known to walk the streets of his community and proactively try to change the ways of troubled kids. The image of Bloomberg trying to do the same in one of our high-crime neighborhoods is enough to make you laugh out loud.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly visited Harlem today as part of the "Operation Conversation" initiative. The program was started by the non-profit All Stars Project in 2006 and is designed to foster positive interactions between the police and inner-city youth.
The meeting comes on the heels of a spate of gun violence in New York City that's made headlines across the country. Commissioner Kelly said he doesn't see changes coming to federal gun laws because of election-year politics. Kelly also said with 32% fewer police officers on the force compared to ten years ago, the NYPD has "done a good job holding crime down." What do you say?
Given the relative ease of getting illegal guns into New York City, do you applaud the NYPD's efforts to keep crime down? Why do you think shootings are up 7% in the City from this time last year? How would you improve relations between police officers and inner-city kids?
Send your thoughts using the link above.
At least Kelly has admitted the one obvious fact in all this, and that is gun laws won't change this year or any other for the matter. Someone is always trying to get elected somewhere and most of the 50 states are so pro-gun that getting Universal Health Care and gay Marriage passed is probably more likely to happen. Shooting are probably up 7% because the unemployment rate is higher than the national average and the school system in this city has been producing people will low reading comprehension and math skills that couldn't get a job if there were any. The people who ask where are the parents miss the point that they are either working day and night to keep a roof over their families heads, and on the flip side some of them are just as irresponsible as their kids probably because they came from a background of poor education and no real life skills. Anyone who doesn't think there is a least a small correlation between a lack of education and access to living wage jobs and an increase in violence and crime probably needs a better education themselves. You don't have to travel outside of the country to see a Third World Nation anymore, just wander into the wrong neighborhood anywhere in this country.
As for police and community relations with youth, having actual uniformed officers patrol a neighborhood might help. I have lived in the Fordham section of the Bronx for the last six years and I have seen one patrol car with two cops having coffee in the morning on my block, and the occasional police camera tower that has to have a patrol car guarding it for some reason. You never see a cop on foot around here until something happens and the cops who do pull people aside are detectives that work out of unmarked cars and could be from anywhere. I've seen the firemen at the local firehouse do more to reach out to the neighborhood kids, which shows the disconnect between the police and communities they work in. The Stop and Frisk works in some people's minds, but the jump out, ambush style they use just causes more dissension between the police and neighborhood. Maybe if there were cops visible in certain areas it would keep the guns and the idiots who own them off the streets just the same.
I think the spike in crime in inner cities could be attributed to the high rate of unemployment in those communities, the more idle hands, particularly among the young, the more time for mischievous activities.
Why are we always back to square one all of the time. Again a non profit or an anonymous donor are involved. Why are you in this particular area when we have other boroughs. You all continue to ignore us all the time. Where are the parents and or guardians of these children. This is a sham because you are only reacting due to the outrage. SO THIS ALL STARS PROJECT PROGRAM WAS STARTED IN 2006 AND SO WHAT HAPPENED ALONG THE WAY. THIS WAS STARTED SIX YEARS AGO. AGAIN I ASK WHERE ARE ALL OF THE POLITICIANS. TODAY WE HEARD THAT A PARK IS GOING TO BE EXTENDED AND THAT THE DICTATOR AND QUINN SAID THEY PURCHASED PART OF THE RAILS TO CONTINUE THE PROJECT. I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS JIVE YOU CONTINUE TO HAND US IT'S RIDICULOUS. YOU KEEP ON TALKING DOWN TO US ALL.
Thank you John,
If Kelly wants to be a fan of Harlem residents, the first and most important thing he could do is put an end to stopping and frisking innocent people. He should be stopping, frisking and arresting criminals.
Port Richmond, SI
I wish the NYPD would focus on the source of the problem which is the massive drug distribution which these gangs and thugs thrive on. These criminals carry guns to protect their property which is drugs. Get rid of the drugs and you will practically eliminate unnecessary gun violence, prostitution, unwanted pregnancies and even some poverty.
First the guardians have to take responsibility. We have a society were teachers police etc are expected to take care of our children . Second your not going to control guns with more laws bcz criminals buy them illegally they don't walk up to the counter. Family must be accountable where are the parents or family members when minors are out after 9pm.
The same story as 30 years ago, and it will be the same 30 years from now!
Mike, Richmond Hill Queens
When will NYC, Bloomberg & Sharpton realize that black on black crime is what should be focused on but Sharpton won't earn an income!
My opinion If The Mayor And Ray kelly Wanna minimize Crime On these I Myself Don't have A issue With Stop And Fisk iam Just Bothered the Way It's Done Some Of these Detective that patrole My NeighborHood Are Lil Agreesive With People In My NeighborHood But 4 Most Part Iam Cool With But If They Wanna Stop Crime I Have the solution stop Locking these Dude Up Send Away 2 Iraq that will B There Sentence Stop Throwing Them In Jail
Guns are our constitutional right to own. There is a good reason for that. Without going there I will say that the problem is our acceptance of crime and what we do about as a society. 1 year or 5 in jail hanging out with the homeboys and eating candy bars and getting high is not going to ever make anyone think that we are serious about eliminating violent crime.
Jail is not the answer; at least not the jail we have turned into a multi-million dollar business where we house and perpetuate criminals. We used to hang criminals everywhere. Is that the answer? I don’t really think so but I do think that our laws are way too many and our actions are way too little. People are hungry, violence is acceptable, and there are billions of dollars in the hands of very few.
Rene from Harlem
Many Mondays I read in the paper how New York City was a real live shooting gallery over the weekend. All of the media entered into an unholy alliance not to ask where was the Mayor. Weekends are often a time of crisis and we need the Mayor to be here. Didn't I twice vote (and I was in the majority) for term limits - what happened? Ms. Quinn may not be in Bermuda so she could be a little easier to track down at her house on the Jersey Shore. How all the media as monolithic groups agrees not to bother the Mayor when these shootings most often occur is an outrage. Quinn is setting precedence now in case she somehow becomes the next Mayor. I want the Mayor immediately to discuss situations like a 2 year old being shot by stray gunfire.
RICHARD - brooklyn
More government funded programs are not the answer. Children and teenagers need parental/guardian supervision all the time.
Stop blaming government and put the focus on the mothers and fathers.
Operation conversation will not work. It's the simaliar to the "CPR" procedure. It will not work because there are more people that don't care living in these poor neighborhoods- cycles repeating themselves. It's amazing how some community leaders, a few weeks ago, complained about SQF- and today they are screaming for help because of all the shooting. Let some of these leaders patrol some of the tough neighborhoods in NYC so they can see what officers have to go thru. And I will assure that many of them will understand why SQF is a very valuable tool. And, as far as changing the gun laws- I believe that it will not make a differrence changing them because bad guys will always find a way to get firearms or weapons. If bad guys want to commit crimes, they will do them with guns or other weapons.
It would be wonderful to have sports activities through P.A.L. so there is a connection between the police and the kids. Boxing is a great idea where one can gain great self-discipline and have the opportunity to gain status for something other than wearing gold ropes around their neck. Most importantly, there are so many kids with big problems with nobody to advise them - their family life could be the cause of their troubles. They should have a resource to go to when things get tough instead of asking other teens for their opinions - the blind leading the blind.
Community centers need to stay open LATE so the teens have a way to keep themselves occupied. The parks close at dusk now. I'm born and raised in Manhattan and we used to play basketball after dark and nobody got into trouble.
Simone - Chelsea
We are way too lenient with people who kill other people. I applaud the caller who just said, 20 years minimum in jail for anyone caught with an illegal gun. and YES to the Death penalty. the idiot who killed all those people in Arizona should have been executed IMMEDIATELY. but instead, we'll put him in jail and pay to keep him alive for the next 50 years- this makes no sense!
Joan in Forest Hills.
If Bloomberg really wanted to stop the flow of guns he should start a anti gun lobby that throws money at politicians like the NRA instead he is the biggest contributor to the republicans who enable the NRA and refuse to do anything for gun control, he is such a hypocrite.
greenwich village NYC
Guns in the streets is a mere symptom of BIGGER problems. Such as DRUGS and Sex Worker traffickers. They should bring back HARSHER Prison time for ALL, i.e. Drug Users & Drug Sellers. Maybe a 4 strike policy? I have a family member who is a 12 time felon?!?!?! It's obvious Alternative To Incarcerations (ATIs) DO NOT work for many. The last time I checked it was ILLEGAL to buy or sell drugs So why so many chances to Re-Enter society? Is it that ATIs provide Contracts? Someone provides toilet papers & detergent to these places. I think the current system SUCKS bad. And we are just making future drug users. When the above is corrected THAN no more guns
I have a few suggestions to start with: long jail sentences for illegal gun sellers and owners, put stop and frisk back into play, better training and power to the police to use deadly force because they are afraid to use there guns.