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New York City Mayor Eric Adams is expected to appoint a “gun violence czar” to combat the spate of shootings and killings plaguing the city as officials brace themselves for an expected increase in crime that accompanies the summer months.
It was not clear what the responsibilities of a gun violence czar would be. Adams has also considered declaring a state of emergency related to gun violence, The New York Times reported, citing internal materials reviewed by the newspaper.
Adams, a former police officer, took office in January and was elected based on a platform that he could reduce crime. He has assigned extra officers to the city’s troubled subway system and revived a controversial anti-gun unit that was previously disbanded amid allegations its officers engaged in abuse.
“The gun violence crisis has hit New York City painfully,” he said during a January speech at City Hall. “We are far from alone.”
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Fox News has reached out to Adams’ office.
Many New Yorkers view crime as the city’s most pressing issue, according to a Quinnipiac University poll of registered New York City voters.
New York City’s murder rate plummeted in 2017 and 2018 with fewer than 300 homicides each year, but murders have surged recently as the city saw 488 murders in 2021.
While crime has picked up recently, it’s low compared to the violent crime rates from a few decades ago, as the city saw 2,262 murders in 1990. However, officials have cited the brazen nature of many crimes and the age of the suspected offenders.
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“Over and over again, we’re seeing 11, 15, 18. Not only the shooters, but the victims,” Adams said in May during a news briefing to announce an arrest in the killing of an 11-year-old Bronx girl.