NYPD ‘caught by Eric Adams’ plan to commit mentally ill homeless
The NYPD was “stunned” by Mayor Eric Adams’ announcement that cops will begin taking homeless people into custody for psychiatric evaluations and possible hospitalization — and scrambles to begin on Wednesday, The Post learned Has.
Several senior law enforcement sources said they were not alerted before Adams revealed his plan in a speech on Tuesday, which followed a recent spate of horrific subway attacks.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell – who skipped the Adams announcement – along with newly appointed acting department chief Jeffrey Maddrey and other top officials huddled with NYPD attorneys on Wednesday to review the new policy, sources said.
“It’s kind of a hot mess,” said a source.
The source, who called the NYPD “blind,” also said City Hall “was rash in a way,” adding, “I’m not sure why they did it.”
Another source said: “Like everything else, it’s thrown into our laps and we’re expected to solve the problem without guidance.”
Complicating the situation is the fact that the NYPD does not have an assistant legal affairs director after what sources have described as Sewell’s removal in September of the last person to hold the job, Ernest Hart.
When asked about Sewell’s glaring absence on Tuesday, the mayor said during a subsequent Q&A, “I spoke to her this morning and she’s a little under the weather.”
But less than two hours later, Sewell attended a farewell ceremony at 1 Police Plaza for retired department head Ken Corey, and The Post saw her outside afterwards, smiling and joking in the cold while waiting for Corey to leave the building.
In his speech, Adams said there was a “misconception” that mentally ill people “must present themselves as ‘imminently dangerous’ in order to be removed from the community,” adding, “That is not the case.”
“The first training on this will be integrated today,” said Adams. “This new focus took place this morning and we will soon be expanding it to include all current members of the Mobile Crisis Teams and NYPD.”
Several NYPD wardens told the Post that they were not told about the training and only learned about it from media coverage of Adam’s Tuesday speech.
The mayor’s comments coincided with a February memo in which the state mental health agency said law enforcement officials have the power to compel psychiatric evaluations of people who appear unable to “meet basic living needs, themselves if there hasn’t been a dangerous act recently”.
A spokesman for the state OMH said Wednesday that training for the NYPD, as well as the FDNY’s emergency responders, was “under discussion” with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Health and the Mayor’s Office.
During a press conference in late October, Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul previewed plans for the training and announced a “Cops, Cameras, Care” program to increase subway security.
The move came as Republican challenger Lee Zeldin appeared to gain 52.4%-46.7% over the Democratic governor, who won the Nov. 8 election.
In a prepared statement Wednesday, the NYPD said it is “currently in the process of aligning its policies, guidance and training in accordance with the mayor’s directive that the department received Tuesday.”
The department issued a follow-up statement hours later, which said, “To be clear, every city authority received this directive yesterday, but we have been working with the mayor’s office for months on this important initiative.”
Around the same time the second statement was released, City Hall press secretary Fabien Levy told The Post, “Your sources are wrong.”
“The final policy was only issued yesterday, but we’ve been working on it for months [the NYPD] on this initiative.”
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan and Zach Williams
https://nypost.com/2022/11/30/nypd-blindsided-by-eric-adams-plan-to-commit-mentally-ill-homeless/ NYPD ‘caught by Eric Adams’ plan to commit mentally ill homeless