New York City mayor Eric Adams met with Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday to discuss ideas on how to reduce crime. Both cities are experiencing high rates of crime that carried on from the pandemic. The NYC mayor has come under scrutiny on his ability to tackle the rise since taking office.
Amid the surge, the Democratic mayors privately met to discuss their collaboration. ‘We are gonna be great partners in the work that we’re all doing,’ Lightfoot told reporters. The mayors have previously ‘sparred’ with prosecutors in their cities, accusing them of “pushing for lenient policies that don’t hold criminals accountable,” according to Daily Mail.
Crime in NYC has been up 45 percent since this time last year, according to statistics by the NYPD. Crimes reported on transit are up 75 percent. In Chicago, crime is reportedly up 34 percent and the Chicago Transit Authority reported an increase by 56 percent, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In his meeting with Lightfoot, Adams emphasized their focus on the subway, saying “We’re going to learn from Chicago what they’re doing on their El [subway] line, so that we can see best practices,’ Adams said at a press conference on Friday, according to New York magazine. “We’re going to travel throughout the country and see what others are doing. Washington D.C. [which Adams visited last week] has seen an uptick [in crime]. All over the country, we’re seeing that, and we are going to put our heads together and operate as a team. How do we make our transit line safe, as well as our streets safe? That is the energy we are bringing. We have to work together. Cities will determine the success of America. We know that, and it’s time for the federal government to know that.”
Stefano Forte, a Republican candidate for New York State Senate, is running on a tough on crime platform with a plan to repeal cashless bail and “end the war on our police.” Forte has been a vocal critic of the vaccine mandates that plagued New York City, speaking out against then-mayor de Blasio’s vaccine mandates, also lending support to Ari Hasanaj. He describes himself as “unapologetically populist,” receiving the endorsement from former 2022 NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa.
“Firstly I think Mayor Adams taking advice from Mayor Lightfoot about crime is like Kathy Hochul taking advice from Cuomo about how to handle nursing homes,” Forte told American Pigeon. “I think this spike in crime is fueled by two major factors. One: cashless bail has career criminals out on the streets the day they are arrested. They are going out and committing more crimes and our police are powerless to do anything. Two: I think the defund the police movement and the handcuffing of our police has made it impossible to do their jobs. The police need to know that we have their back, right now they feel completely isolated.”
Forte also criticized the mayor’s ‘anticrime’ plan, or lack of a plan.
“The mayor has yet to show me what his real concrete plan is,” Forte continued. “He talks about bail reform and how bad it is then goes to Albany and meets with the assembly and changes his tune calling the crime wave a “national trend.” His rhetoric is great but his action has yet to be seen. I would love to work with him to actually get our streets safer but in order to do that he needs to step away from his parties dogma and start working with Republicans.”
“Personally I am under the belief that the crime issue will not get better until we elect a Republican governor and a Republican state senate,” Forte added. “We need fighters who will repeal cashless bail and end the war on our police. I think if mayor Adams is genuine he should show us action instead of talking tough. Maybe he should call Mayor Giuliani for advice on crime instead of Lightfoot.”
Forte isn’t the only New Yorker expressing his concern. NYPD officers have also been frustrated with the mayors approach.
New York magazine details the issues and criticism Adams faces in light of his proposals to reduce crime. Part of Adams’ plan includes sending chiefs, the NYPD’s highest ranking officers, to patrol the trains, which has not gone over well. One law enforcement official told the magazine, “It goes to show you that the man never held an executive position in any paramilitary organization. He never had a command…[Adams] wants to show an omnipresence, which goes to show you he has no clue what police work is all about. He’s reduced chiefs down to a f****ing sergeant. It’s not done that way.”