It’s been a tough few weeks for the Bronx.
While the NYPD has recorded record crime lows city-wide, the Bronx has seen some reciprocal numbers.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill ran down recent crime stats alongside Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Chief of Department Terrance Monahan, on Tuesday, July 10 at a press conference at the 40th Precinct
He discussed the tragic gang-related death of 15-year-old Lesandro ‘Junior’ Guzman-Feliz, only one of the many violent instances in the Bronx recently.
“For the month of June, murder is up 34 percent citywide, eight crimes, and again we’re back in the Bronx – it is the driver of this increase,” said Monahan. “13 murders this June versus six in June of 2017, that’s an increase of seven murders or 116 percent,” he added,
“It’s not an uptick in crime. It’s an uptick in homicide. It’s the homicide. It’s 30 percent gang related. So obviously, we want to be able to target the crews,” said Monahan.
While shootings dropped city wide, fatal shootings have gone up by twelve in the Bronx, 29 by 17, compared to 2017. Since the start of the new year, the NYPD has placed 100 extra officers around the borough to combat homicides and gang violence as well.
In addition, other resources are being dispatched and allocated by the city to fight back to this violence.
The 48th and 52nd precinct will be introducing mobile trauma units for the aftermath of homicides and gang violence.
“These units are supposed to be there after the candles blow out,” said Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson. “They’re meant for the aftermath of gun violence for the families of the victims and many more, we want to prevent a retaliation as well,” she added.
Gibson joined neighboring Councilwoman Diana Ayala in a gun violence awareness walk in response to recent shootings in High Bridge some weeks ago.
The duo also sat with de Blasio, O’Neill, and Salamanca as Ayala shared how gun violence has changed her life since her early life.
In effort to clean up Bronx streets, the city is investing $68 million to build a new home for the 40th Precinct at 567 E. 149th Street, at the corner of St. Ann’s Avenue.
The new precinct will be the first to hold space for a community center in efforts to strengthen police and civilian ties in the south Bronx.
It’s expected to open in the spring of 2021.
“New Yorkers need to feel just as safe at 138th and Third as they do at 38th and Third. That is the vision of neighborhood policing,” said de Blasio at the old 4-0 Precinct that was built before television. “We have seen some real progress in the Bronx in particular in recent years. But we are constantly reminded of things that challenge us and things that we have to work harder on,” he added.
The new precinct will be located in Councilman Rafael Salamanca, Jr.’s district, whom praised the investment while discussing the opioid problem in his district, which the NYPD claims does not correlate with the Bronx’s recent homicide uptick.