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NYC winning war on crime, losing ‘war on how people are feeling,’ Adams tells Jewish radio program

“Random acts of violence play on your psyche and give you the feeling that you’re not safe,” the New York City mayor told “JM in the AM.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams marches in the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s Israel parade on June 2, 2024. Credit: Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams marches in the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York’s Israel parade on June 2, 2024. Credit: Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office.

New York City is safe but needs better public relations. That’s what Eric Adams, the city’s mayor, told the Jewish radio program “JM in the AM” on Wednesday.

“We have won and we are winning, I should say, the war on crime. We’re losing the war on how people are feeling, which is just as important because public safety is not just stats but it’s how people perceive the city that they live in and love,” Adams told the program’s Nachum Segal.

Adams told Segal that there are three factors overshadowing the success of the New York City Police Department.

“We have a small number of people that are committing a large proportion, number of crimes, such as shoplifting,” and the shooter who killed a police detective, Jonathan Diller, recently had been arrested 20 times.

“The person who was in the car with him was out on a gun charge,” Adams said. “So recidivism is a real problem.”

The city also faces mental-health issues and random acts of violence, according to the mayor.

“Those random acts of violence play on your psyche and give you the feeling that you’re not safe. So as we continue to be successful in driving down crime, we have to push back on the narrative,” he said. “We all know in the media cycle ‘if it bleeds it leads,’ but sometimes that continues leading is making New Yorkers feel apprehensive when these random acts happen.”

When Segal told Adams that the Jewish community in the city appreciates the way that its members are represented in the mayor’s administration, the latter said, “it’s important not only to have people on your staff that is a reflection of the community, but for them to be directly connected to you.”

“When you look at the line-up of Jewish representation in my administration, you’ll see that they will be the first to tell you, we communicate directly to the mayor and we’re able to respond immediately to those issues that are important to the community,” he said. “I am really pleased by someone like a Joel who has just really been a real mensch as the community would say.”

Adams was referring to Joel Eisdorfer, a Satmar Chassid who is his Jewish adviser and who recently announced that he is stepping down from his role in City Hall.

During the interview, the mayor also praised the NYPD for helping protect “hundreds of thousands” who attended a recent pro-Israel parade in Manhattan and attendees for their patience with security procedures.

“You saw the cooperation of New Yorkers, which I think is often overlooked. New Yorkers, during a time of need, we all fall into a line in cooperating,” Adams said. “No one likes to have to be scanned into public events, no one likes to have to follow specific directions. But New Yorkers stepped up.”

Many people who don’t live in New York City thought that the past few months of hate speech and “a lot of terrible comments” represented “the energy of New York because you had 2,000 people who were marching and making in some cases some real derogatory comments about Jewish people in general and specifically those who are here in New York,” according to Adams.

“I believe that display you saw of hundreds of thousands of people show where the majority of New Yorkers are and that we strongly believe there’s no room for hate in our city of any kind,” he added, of the pro-Israel parade.

He added that Hamas must be destroyed and the hostages released.

“We want to bring peace,” Adams added. “We don’t want innocent children dying anywhere.”

Adams, who recently visited Israel, said that “the country has been a real partner with America, and we were looking forward to some real innovative ways of exchanging technologies, and how the region means so much to so many people.”

“I’m a Christian and visiting some of the Christian sites, the holy sites meant so much to me. Visiting the mosques, visiting the synagogues,” he said. “Religion is so important to all of us and I think there are many lessons that we can all learn from it. Not just to read, but to believe that we must have tolerance on how we coexist.”

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