New York Daily News

June 1, 2016, 5:15 PM

  

 

Police and NYCHA worker union leaders demand more cops in public housing to reduce crime

BY GREG B. SMITH

JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
“These trends must not be allowed to continue,” PBA President Pat Lynch (c.) and Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd wrote.

Citing an alarming spike in public housing crime, two top union leaders Wednesday demanded more cops in the projects before summertime mayhem makes things even worse.

In a letter to Mayor de Blasio, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch and Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd red-flagged an 8.9% jump in major crimes in NYCHA developments this year through May 15 compared to the same period last year.

That’s in contrast to a miniscule 0.2% rise citywide during that same period.

The jump in public housing crime includes an 18.8% hike in murders, a 14.7% rise in felony assaults and a 22.1% spike in burglaries across NYCHA’s 328 housing projects.

“These trends must not be allowed to continue,” Lynch and Floyd wrote.

“NYCHA residents need and deserve better. We therefore call on your administration to take meaningful action to improve the safety environment in NYCHA developments by increasing NYPD staffing citywide.”

Early Wednesday, two men were shot in front of the Cooper Park Houses in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Both were taken to Bellevue Hospital and were not cooperating with investigators, police said.

Lynch, who represents 24,000 officers, and Floyd, who represents 8,000 NYCHA workers, noted that since the Housing Police were merged with the NYPD in 1995, the number of cops assigned exclusively to NYCHA developments has fallen from 2,800 to just over 1,900.

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The jump in public housing crime includes an 18.8% hike in murders, a 14.7% rise in felony assaults and a 22.1% spike in burglaries across NYCHA’s 328 housing projects.

They also argued that de Blasio’s new push to hire hundreds more cops in the coming months isn’t enough to quell what has become a frustratingly resilient pattern of high crime in public housing.

“The recent hiring by the NYPD has not been nearly enough to address the citywide decline in staffing levels, which have fallen by more than 6,000 since their pre-9/11 peak,” they wrote.

After the horrific stabbing of two children inside a NYCHA elevator two years ago, de Blasio added hundreds of cops to 15 high-crime NYCHA developments, installed anti-crime lights and extended youth center hours.

His “Mayor’s Action Plan” continues this summer, with extra cops again assigned to the 15 targeted developments, where city officials say violent crime has dropped 11% in the last two years.

In response to the letter, de Blasio spokeswoman Aja Worthy-Davis said NYCHA has so far spent $64.6 million on upgraded security cameras and door locks and set aside $115 million for security lighting throughout the 15 high-crime developments.

“Over the past two years, NYCHA has invested millions on improved lighting, CCTV cameras and other critical safety improvements,” Worthy-Davis said.