Borough President Eric Adams went to Washington D.C. on Monday to meet with President Joe Biden at the White House, where they discussed the scourge of gun violence with a cadre of other stakeholders.
“We recognize that we have to come together to fulfill the first responsibility of a democracy and to keep each other safe,” Biden said at the start of the meeting at the White House, “and that’s what the American people are looking for when it comes to reducing violent crime and gun violence.”
House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US Attorney General Merrick Garland participated in the roundtable event, where Biden boasted some of his administration’s efforts to reduce shootings in America — including increasing funding for community policing and federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Our strategy includes funding for law enforcement through the American Rescue Plan for states, cities and to be able to hire police and pay them overtime, in order to advance community policing,” Biden said.
Adams, a former New York City police captain, thanked the president for bringing the local leaders together.
“I applaud President Joe Biden for calling this critical meeting to address rising crime, and for his commitment to take on the gun violence epidemic in our city and in our country. It is so important to the safety of New Yorkers that all levels of government work together and take action to fight and prevent crime,” said Adams.
“To achieve our shared goal of reducing gun violence, it is critical that the partnership between New York City and the federal government include both long-term crime prevention strategies and immediate interventions that stop the shootings now and get the guns off of our streets,” he added.
Adams said he was confident the Biden administration would focus on finding and prosecuting the illegal gun dealers, straw purchasers, and traffickers who flood our streets with handguns.
“At the same time, we must work together to deal with the feeders of crime and violence, including funding for young people aging out of foster care, youth employment, job training, and learning disability screenings and help,” he said.
According to the New York Post, Adams told a TV crew outside the White House that he rejected the president’s call to increase police forces in order to combat illegal guns.
“The first thing we need to do is to do an assessment of how we are using our police officers now. Far too many police officers are doing clerical duty. Far too many police officers are patrolling in groups,” Adams told reporters.
Calling the meeting productive, the beep concluded that he looked forward “to working with the president as a true partner to create a safer New York City and a safer country.”
In New York City, shootings are up nearly 38 percent across the five boroughs, year-to-date as of July 4, when compared to the same time last year, according to Police Department data. Meanwhile, 2021 is on track to be America’s deadliest year of gun violence in two decades, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
Accompanying Adams on his trip to Washington was Deputy Borough President Ingrid Lewis-Martin and his Communication chief Stefan Ringel.
This story first appeared on PoliticsNY.com.