Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. today called for the formation of a commission tasked with recommending holistic, evidence-based solutions to stop New York City’s sharp rise in violent crime over the past year.
In a New York Daily News op-ed, D.A. Vance emphasized that many potential culprits – not a single scapegoat – are to blame for increased violence, including the pandemic’s seismic, destabilizing impacts on unemployment, homelessness, and mental health, the availability of guns from the so-called “Iron Pipeline” states, and law enforcement’s deficit of trust, credibility, and clearance rates in communities of color. Such complex and interconnected challenges demand more than one-off tactical shifts in law enforcement.
“We’d be more productive, and New Yorkers better served by, a commission that reaches beyond law enforcement and the justice system to gather the information necessary to issue evidence-based recommendations on all local problems that implicate safety and justice-involvement for New Yorkers, from housing to mental health to bail,” D.A. Vance wrote, adding that the city urgently needs a “Marshall Project for Mental Health.”
“We can be pundits and fight culture wars about this violence or we can follow the example of scientists, collaborating to develop and deploy en masse evidence-based cures that ultimately save lives,” D.A. Vance concluded.
The op-ed can be viewed in full here.