Although major crimes in New York City saw a big drop for the month of April compared to the same time in 2019, the New York Police Department isn’t expecting that to continue – especially when New York City decides to reopen in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal reported the NYPD is preparing for a spike in crime when the Big Apple reopens businesses and relaxes on social distancing measures. The culprit for the crime climb could be because of the mass release of inmates — more than 1,5000 people – from city jails in early April, which was designed to slow the spread of the virus in jails to inmates and workers, according to Dermot Shea, the department’s commissioner.
Shea said the loss of police officers could play a factor. The NYPD had 1,624 uniformed members out sick, which amounts to around 4.5% of the workforce, police officials said, according to the report. Other factors include the state’s new bail reform law, which allows defendants out-and-about while they await trials.
While major crimes like robberies, felony assaults, and grand larcenies were down in big ways in April, the city saw upticks in murders and burglaries, according to NYPD data.
Parts of New York state are set to reopen after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the statewide shutdown would expire on May 15. The three regions – the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and the Finger Lakes – met the seven key standards for a region to reopen.