Quick, what aspect of police work and law enforcement were mayoral contenders addressing when they said the following at Friday’s candidate forum?
- Bill de Blasio: “It’s hard to report crimes and get the kind of response that you deserve…The police need more training to treat these crimes with urgency…Police need better training and we need to strengthen the laws.”
- Christine Quinn: “If we see any situation where police or DA’s are not taking those crimes seriously, we need to take action no matter what elected position we are in.”
Were they talking about traffic violence and NYPD’s lackluster crash investigations? Nope, they were responding to questions about assault against bus operators and harassment and crime against bus and subway passengers.
Safety on the transit system is important, but so is safety on the streets. And so far the candidates haven’t approached the NYPD’s failures on traffic violence with the same fervor they displayed Friday evening for tackling transit crime.
Tom Allon called for “GropeStat” to pinpoint problem harassment locations. “If there’s somebody who’s a serial offender, the DA’s office should take away his MetroCard. Ban him from the subway, ban him from the bus forever,” he said.
Streetsblog followed up with Allon after the forum to ask if this banned-for-life standard should apply to deadly drivers. “There should be a zero-tolerance policy. We have to crack down on people who are a menace to other people,” he said. “It’s one of those crimes that doesn’t get enough attention.”