Press Statements

Mayor Adams: Don’t Put Swagger Before Substance, Invest in Policing Alternatives That Don’t Criminalize New Yorkers

January 20, 2022


Mariah McGough,, 203 470 9979

Mayor Adams: Don’t Put Swagger Before Substance, Invest in Policing Alternatives That Don’t Criminalize New Yorkers

NEW YORK — In response to Mayor Eric Adams considering excluding the NYPD from a 3% budget cut to city-wide agencies, VOCAL-NY released the following statement, attributable to Jon McFarlane, VOCAL-NY Civil Rights Union Leader:

“On the campaign trail, Eric Adams promised services and reduced police contact — two things we hope were not just convenient talking points. But exempting the NYPD from the same cuts that other city agencies, ones that can keep New Yorkers safe without a police response, shows exactly what his motives are. He’s been quick to increase police presence on the subways under the guise of public safety, but has done nothing to combat the continued criminalization of New Yorkers who are homeless, using drugs, or dealing with mental health complexities. 

Our message to Mayor Adams: Don’t reward law enforcement with exemptions for the same dangerous practices that criminalize those in crisis. Invest in the agencies and programs that treat New Yorkers with care and compassion.”

While running for office, Mayor Adams boasted about his plans to “marry the two ideals of safety and ensuring social justice.” In VOCAL-NY’s Caring and Compassionate Mayoral Forum last March, Eric Adams vowed to support New Yorkers dealing with homelessness and drug use by providing “wrap around resources” and opportunities to engage with marginalized communities on what they need. Neither of these promises have come to fruition yet.

Earlier this year, Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul announced a joint initiative to create “Safe Options Support Teams” with the aim of making New York City subways safer. From the start, the program had glaring flaws. The new program would only increase law enforcement and target New Yorkers who are homeless, without offering them affordable housing options. 

VOCAL-NY’s Caring and Compassionate New Deal framework outlines the ways the city can increase public safety with investments in housing, social services, and care. It also calls for divestments from police, courts, and jails that have ripped apart and weakened communities for decades. 

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