3:23 pm Jul. 11, 20121
The debate about public safety among the 2013 mayoral candidates has been about who can move more quickly to reduce the number of stop-and-frisks.
But the recent uptick in shootings may change that debate, according to a professor who is supportive of Mayor Bloomberg and his administration's policing strategies.
"New Yorkers are going to be asking for more police by the start of the next mayoral campaign," said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University and an informal Bloomberg adviser. "By early 2013, running against the police department is not going to be acceptable."
The recent shootings—which included the shooting of a three-year-toddler and an AK47 attack that left three dead—"is going to have the effect of making safety, not stop-and-frisk, the key issue," Moss told me.
Moss said the candidates will have to speak more regularly about the need to expand the number of police officers within the NYPD. (Yesterday, the Council's public safety chairman, Peter Vallone Jr., did just that.)
To date, the major Democratic candidates have all agreed that the New York Police Department needs to curb the number of stop-and-frisks, with one candidate, Comptroller John Liu, advocating an end to the policy.
So far, none of the candidates has called for more aggressive policing tactics or for putting more police on the streets.
"You can't run for mayor without recognizing the importance of the cavalry," Moss said. "You can't elect a mayor who doesn't know how to bring out the cavalry."
Noting that Democrats haven't won a mayoral election here since David Dinkins won in 1989, he added, "we're not going to have a mayor who is gun-shy."