Amid Gun Violence Surge, New York City Mayor De Blasio Wants Police To Focus On Customer Service

As a part of his effort to reform the New York City Police department, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that the NYPD would now be focusing on "customer service."

Policework Shifts

In a daily press briefing, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced to reporters that "customer service" was the "future of the NYPD." Though currently, the city is dealing with an exponential increase in gun violence.

De Blasio said, "Customer service has to be what the NYPD is about." He said that this ideological "paradigm shift" was due to years of listening to complaints about the NYPD and how they treated the citizens of New York.

De Blasio said he got complaints that officers were "gruff and dismissive." However, he believes that focusing on customer service will change that. He plans to put a "community guide" in each precinct that New Yorkers will see when they walk in the door.

“So many people who just were trying to exercise their rights to get information or file a concern or complaint, find out what’s happening with a case, they were treated in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with customer service or respect."

Mayor Bill de Blasio

He told reporters that the current path is "not acceptable, and it's not going to build the bond we need."

Police Participation

NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes was with Mayor de Blasio for his announcement to the press. Holmes emphasized that "all officers are greeters." Though, she conceded that the mayor's new shift creates a "warmer, kinder, friendly... gentle environment."

One day before the announcement of this shift, Jaden Turnage, 16, was shot in the streets of Brooklyn.

A day before that, another 16-year-old, Cahlil Pennington, was involved in a daytime gunfight in East New York and was shot in the head.

Wrong Focus

Mayor de Blasio has many in opposition to his customer service approach, especially due to recent events. Critics say that he is focusing on the wrong thing.

A sharp rise in crime, particularly the increase in gun crimes, should be at the forefront of the mayor's mind instead of pandering to those who want police reform.

However, the mayor believes that he is taking the right path. He went as far as to say that improving police-community relationships "is absolutely [a] prerequisite to being as safe as we need to be."

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