FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Zuniga
718-225-0757 (campaign hq)
City Council Candidate Dennis Saffran (R-C-Reform, 19th District) condemned the Council’s vote today to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of Intros Nos. 1079 and 1080, the so-called “Community Safety Act,” stating:
The Council’s decision today to ignore the testimony of Police Chief Ray Kelly, PBA President Pat Lynch, and others who have worked to make the city safer, and to instead push through this bill that will handcuff the police, is a grave mistake which will lead to more drugs and guns on our streets and victimize the very people the Council claims to protect.
This cynically named bill should be known as the “Community Endangerment Act” rather than the “Community Safety Act.” It is bad enough that it will cripple the NYPD’s highly successful “stop, question and frisk” program, which has been an essential element in our city’s incredible success in drastically reducing violent crime during the Giuliani and Bloomberg years. But it is so vaguely written that it could go beyond that and bar a whole host of crime-fighting techniques including the monitoring of gang members. It may even bar police dispatchers from identifying the race, sex or age of suspects.
Of course, “stop & frisk” stops must be as civil and courteous as possible, but the bottom line is that they get guns off the street and save lives – typically the lives of poor and minority children. According to some estimates, if New York City crime rates had remained what they were in 1993, before the expansion of stop and frisk, more than 10,000 black and Hispanic males who are alive today would have lost their lives in senseless street violence. Indeed, in Chicago, where a more “progressive” government refuses to implement such proactive policing tactics, the teen homicide rate is four times higher than it is in New York
Today’s vote makes it all the more crucial that we elect Councilmembers who will actively and aggressively fight for the safety of our communities. I intend to be that kind of Councilmember.