NYPD’s John Miller touts police efforts to reduce shootings

Hailing his department’s efforts that have recently resulted in a “steady decline” in shootings in the Big Apple, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller explained in a new interview that the nation’s largest police force is “shooting on all guns.”

“We’re making really good progress on gun crime, which is important,” Miller said in a radio appearance Sunday on WABC’s The Cats Roundtable. “Our gun arrests are at a 28-year high. We’re firing on all cylinders.”

Miller added that the city has had “roughly seven weeks of a steady decline in shootings.”

“It’s not an accident; this is the result of strategy,” he continued, explaining that the NYPD “flooded the Bronx with cops” after a series of shootings in the precinct and “increased” the presence of Strategic Response Team members there .

According to numbers released Friday, the NYPD recorded 118 shootings in May — up from 172 in 2021. However, last month’s tally was significantly higher than the 61 shootings reported in May 2019.

Speaking to the radio show’s hosts, Miller, the Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, noted that police have a job to balance public perceptions of safety and actual crime statistics.

Police at the scene of a shooting on April 28
Police at the scene of a shooting on April 28
Christopher Sadowski

“It’s difficult because there’s a difference … between the safety of people and the safety that they feel. And the things that make people feel less safe aren’t necessarily violent crimes,” he said. “It’s the confrontational person you’ll see on the street or on the subway; they are the signs of disorder out on the street.

“And what we’re trying to do is attack that on all fronts.”

According to the new statistics, over 2,500 more index crimes were reported in May compared to May 2019 – including thefts, robberies and car break-ins.

Meanwhile, grand thefts rose more than 42% year-on-year, 4,116 versus 2,897, while robberies increased 26.2% and burglaries increased 28.4%.

Miller also targeted progressive criminal justice reform, saying she has created “limited consequences” for certain crimes that encourage repeat offenders — echoing sentiments expressed by NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Mayor Eric Adams.

An NYPD counterterrorism unit transit officer patrols a subway station on May 24.
An NYPD counterterrorism unit transit officer patrols a subway station on May 24.
Maria Altaffer/AP

“These are crimes that, for the most part, are currently ineligible for bail,” he said. “If someone comes in and steals from the same store every day and comes out again and we catch them every day, the judge has no way of arresting them [even if] they know crime will happen again.”

The 2019 Bail Reform Act barred judges from setting bail in misdemeanors and many nonviolent crime cases. In April, Gov. Kath Hochul and state lawmakers reversed some of these state budget reforms, allowing more repeat offenders to be jailed before trial.

But Miller wants those changes to go further.

“Those are the laws that have been changed,” Miller said. “They have to be adjusted again.”

Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller
Miller speaks to the media on May 11 about ways to ban illegal guns from the streets.
John Lamparski/Sipa USA

“Until the judges have the authority to say that this person poses a danger to their fellow citizens, we are the only state in America where a judge cannot use dangerousness as a reason for detaining someone [custody],” he added. “We’ll see that these repeat offenders know the consequences can be very limited.”

During the interview, which aired Sunday, Miller also questioned a bill that would limit the use of song lyrics as evidence in criminal cases.

The “rap music on trial” legislation — introduced by state Sens. Brad Hoylman and Jamaal Bailey and passed by the state Senate last month but not yet enacted — would amend state criminal procedure rules to bar prosecutors from using artists . creative or artistic expression” against them unless they produce “clear and convincing evidence” of a direct link between the work and the alleged crime.

“I have the idea of ​​protecting art,” Miller said, “but in a town where we have gangs that confront each other with drill rap, and these things actually result in shootings, murders, and shootings of children, am i just not sure if this is the most useful legislative approach to solve this problem.” NYPD’s John Miller touts police efforts to reduce shootings


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