Candidates for mayor Eric Adams and Curtis Sliwa are competing to run a city both say is facing a public safety crisis.
Adams, the Democratic nominee and a retired NYPD captain, has one stock line in particular that he’s repeated.
“Our city is out of control,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday.
“The level of disorder, everything from graffiti everywhere, from people being homeless not receiving the necessary care, ATVs driving up and down the sidewalk, the shootings,” Adams said. “There’s a perception that our city is no longer in control.”
Sliwa, whose chances at the mayoralty are far slimmer as a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, agrees.
He’s been using the same hyperbole.
“Yeah, there’s no doubt. I mean, anyone would recognize that the city is out of control. The criminals run the streets and the police have had the handcuffs put on them,” he told NY1.
But the Guardian Angels founder was quick to note where he differs from Adams.
“I say you need to hire police immediately. You need 38,000,” he said.
Adams favors what he calls precision policing and focusing on violent crimes such as shooting incidents.
New York still remains the safest large city even as murders trend in the wrong direction.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has stressed the rate of gun arrests and noted crime is down in several categories.
He wouldn’t criticize Adams, but he added that the perception is worse than the reality.
“The notion ‘if it bleeds it leads’ is alive and well in New York City,” de Blasio said. “So, if he’s referring to those kinds of realities, of course, he’s right to say there’s a constant flow of imagery that gives people one idea. The truth is often something very, very different.”
In addition to an NYPD headcount increase, Sliwa wants a correction officer one.
He was outside Rikers to tout his plan that also includes keeping the complex open, but rehabbing it and moving the emotionally disturbed to state mental health prisons.
Adams’ Rikers plan includes more funding for the on-site prosecutor’s office, building secure off-site facilities for the mentally ill and ending the housing of gangs by affiliation.
Adams toured Rikers facilities earlier this month.
Sliwa says he comes to the area weekly, but has not been permitted inside.