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This Week in New York City Government

Mayor:

Mayor de Blasio Delivers Remarks Before Observing Moment of Silence for Officers Ramos and Liu

Mayor Bill de Blasio: I want to thank everyone for gathering together. It’s a time of pain for our city. It’s a time of mourning for two good families, and it’s so important that we all stand in solidarity with them. I want to thank everyone here at City Hall, and everyone throughout this city, who in a moment will participate in a moment of silence for Officer Ramos and for Officer Liu.

Chirlane and I visited their families yesterday, and they’re going through so much. And they deserve our support, and our solidarity. They need to be first in our thoughts.

Officer Ramos and Officer Liu believed in something – they believed in making this world better, they believed in making this city better. They gave their lives for the belief that we could do better, that we could come together, that we could keep people safe.

Talking to the families, hearing what motivated these good young men to serve is a reminder to us all – it’s humbling. It reminds us that we have to keep serving. We have to keep working for something better.

But there’s a lot of pain right now. We have to work our way through that pain. We have to keep working to bring police and community closer together. We have to work for that more perfect union. We have to put the divisions of the past behind us. They were left to all of us in this generation, and we have to overcome them.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Offers Unequivocal Support for NYPD, its Leadership and its Officers

Administration made largest increase in resources for NYPD programs in a decade: additional $352 million this year to enhance and expand training, provide technology that will protect officers.

From selecting Bill Bratton–the nation’s foremost law enforcement leader–to head the NYPD, to investing in more tools and equipment for officers on the beat, Mayor de Blasio has strongly supported the police during his first year in office. Thanks to the NYPD, crime in New York City is down nearly 5 percent this year—a record low. Mayor de Blasio has invested an additional $352 million in the NYPD’s budget this year to enhance and expand training, provide technology that will protect both officers and our communities, pilot a gunshot detection program, and support overtime. This is the largest increase in resources for NYPD programs in a decade, and larger than the entire Boston Police Department budget. The Mayor has also made major investments to improve NYPD facilities, including $110 million in capital funds to build or rehabilitate precinct houses.

To protect officers and keep the department on the cutting edge, the Mayor invested in more advanced communication technology, including smartphones for all 35,000 officers and 6,000 tablets for police cruisers that enable more rapid distribution of alerts, images and directives. The Mayor has invested in retraining and professional development for the entire force. It settled contracts with thousands of senior officers, providing raises for the first time in years, and is working in good faith to reach accord with all unions representing NYPD personnel. At police ceremonies, policy announcements, community events and in the aftermath of Eric Garner’s death, Mayor de Blasio has made clear his strong support of the NYPD and its officers, praising them as the finest police force in the nation, and commending their sacrifice and professionalism. The Mayor has unequivocally and decisively condemned the actions of protestors who engaged in violence against police officers.

A Safer City

  • Major crime in the city is down. Homicides are down nearly 4% percent and overall crime is down nearly 5% percent.
  • Misconduct complaints filed against NYPD have declined significantly during second half of 2014 – the largest decline over a five-month period since the CCRB was created in 1993

2014 Public Safety Investments 

Mayor de Blasio has invested an additional $352 million this year to enhance and expand training, provide technology that will protect both officers and our communities, and much more. This is the largest increase in a decade and larger than the entire Boston Police Department’s budget.  These investments include:

  • A $160 million initiative to enhance NYPD mobile communications by providing 41,000 tablets and handheld mobile devices for every NYPD officer and patrol car
  • Providing over $28 million dollars to support additional in-service training for the entire Police Department
  • A $101 million dollar investment with the Manhattan District Attorney to reduce violent crime in NYCHA developments through an increase in exterior security cameras, camera connection to NYPD networks, lobby and elevator cameras, new doors, layered access, and improved exterior lighting.
  • Invested $20 million to fund expansion of the NYPD’s high-bandwidth fiber network, which enables the transmission, in real time, of law enforcement and public safety data sources, including feeds from NYPD’s extensive public safety camera network.
  • An investment of $17 million to increase the patrol strength of the force by civilianization.
  • Made major investments to improve NYPD facilities, including $110 million in capital funds to build or rehab precincts.

In addition the City has made other investments that will help our officers keep the city safe while also protecting them from harm, including:

  • Expanded citywide initiative to reduce gun violence by investing $12.7 million in comprehensive, neighborhood-based strategy to prevent shootings in 14 key precincts
  • Launched Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety, a $210 million investment to strengthen neighborhoods and reduce violent crime at the 15 NYCHA developments
  • Accelerated long-delayed installation of security cameras at Boulevard Houses and housing developments across the city
  • Launched $130 million plan to reduce crime and reduce the number of people with behavioral and mental health issues behind bars

Unequivocally Condemned Violence Against NYPD Officers

12.15.14 Mayor: What we believe we know is that individuals attacked our police officers in an entirely inappropriate and unacceptable way – and that won’t be tolerated. It’s as simple as that. And not only will it not be tolerated by me, it will not be tolerated by the NYPD. I want to speak directly to those who are protesting. I’ve spent plenty of years involved in efforts for social change. I’ve been to my share of protests. It is incumbent upon all those who are protesting to set a high standard, to respect the police who have done such a fine job of protecting them and working with them, and to stop any potential act of violence. It is up to the protestors to join the effort to keep the peace. And if anyone knows anything about the individuals who attacked our police officers, they need to come forward with that information.

Praised NYPD for Restraint and Professionalism Handling Protests 

12.04.14 Mayor: A lot of people demonstrated last night. They expressed their first amendment rights. Overwhelmingly, the demonstrations were peaceful, and I want to say, the response by the NYPD was exactly the right one. It was smart, it was strategic, it was agile – a lot of restraint was shown. When necessary, arrests were made. But you saw a very peaceful night in New York City. Despite the frustration and the pain that so many people are feeling, you saw a peaceful protest. You saw a minimum of disruption. I give credit to everyone involved, but I particularly give credit to the NYPD for having managed the situation so appropriately.

12.07.14 Mayor: I think the NYPD has done an extraordinary job. We’ve had protests for a number of nights but the protesters, by and large, have been peaceful and the NYPD has acted, I think, in a very intelligent and agile manner. And that’s helped to bring us to the result we’ve had now, and last night was particularly good. And I think it’s an example of what the professionalism of the NYPD allows to happen in this city, where peaceful protest can occur.

Praised the NYPD

7/18/14 Mayor: We have extraordinary leadership at the NYPD. We have an incredibly well-trained police force.

7/31/14 Mayor: I want to commend Commissioner Bratton and Chief Banks, and everyone at NYPD for continuing to drive down crime. And I also want to commend them for starting aggressive processes of reform, so that we can have low crime while creating more dialogue and mutual respect.

7/31/14 Mayor: I’ve mentioned the extraordinary work of Commissioner Bratton and Chief Banks, and all the leadership and all the men and women of the NYPD following this pathway – safety and respect.

8/01/14 Mayor: We are constantly preparing. And I think that all of our agencies – NYPD and FDNY and OEM – are literally the gold standard on this earth for how to protect a locality.

8/05/14 Mayor: I have immense respect for the men and women of the NYPD. It’s a very tough job and they do it very, very well. This is why crime is down over three percent this year, murders are down, a lot of incredible work is happening every day in every neighborhood because of the dedication of the men and women of the NYPD.

8/13/14 Mayor: We believe that we have the finest police force in the United States of America, and they do extraordinary work every day. And there’s a lot we need to do to support our police, and one of the things we need to do is help solve the problem before it occurs, at the grassroots, with the full participation of communities. We do that more and more – we’re going to see crime continue to stay low and then go down in this city.

10/13/14 Mayor: I am so appreciative for what you do to represent the Italian-American community through your service to the people of New York City. Because I appreciate you for the work you do, to begin with. We all depend on you. We all appreciate and understand how hard the work is.

11/2/14 Mayor: I’ve said it many, many times, the New York City Police Department is the world’s finest. We see it over and over again, every day. We saw it today with a safe marathon – the biggest marathon in the world. And everything that was done, in the way of security preparation, was outstanding and the execution was flawless – another example of what the NYPD is capable of, another example of the leadership of Commissioner Bratton. And I think the NYPD, at this moment, is the best it’s ever been. And I think it’s on the pathway to even higher heights, to even greater accomplishments.

12.03.14 Mayor: I’ve said repeatedly we are blessed to have the finest police force anywhere in the world. That’s this police force is keeping us safer all the time.

12.09.14 Mayor: I think something all New Yorkers should be proud of today is the way the NYPD handled this incident. In the dead of night, something absolutely unexpected – the responding officers handled things, from everything we’ve seen so far – again, there is an investigation, but I’m going to speak as someone who’s seen the video and just offering my own common-sense assessment – the officers responded with great restraint. They made every effort to try to disarm the individual. And, they – in the work they did so courageously – protected lives. This individual had already assaulted Mr. Rosenblatt – may have caused much more damage to others. Lives were at stake, and these officers – with courage and skill and restraint – handled the situation very admirably. With that, I would like to turn to our police commissioner to commend you, the men and the women of the NYPD, for how this was handled today.

12.09.14 Mayor: This is a very important step forward for this city – reaching agreement with those who, day to day, lead the work out in the field, protecting the people of this city, keeping this city safe, keeping the city clean. These are the leaders in agencies we depend on every day. We have deep respect for their work. We understand how difficult it is. We understand how dangerous it is.

Citywide and Borough Electeds:

Queens Borough President Katz to Award African American Heritage Scholarships

Borough President Melinda Katz announced she is inviting talented Queens high school seniors who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education to apply for the African American Heritage Scholarships that will be awarded early next year by the Borough President’s African American Heritage Committee.

“With Black History Month coming this February, it is appropriate to provide support to a new generation of students who will soon be making history thanks to what are sure to be their many outstanding future accomplishments,” Borough President Katz said. “I encourage Queens high school seniors who want to further their studies to apply for an African American Heritage Scholarship without delay. Education is the key to success.”

All of the scholarship winners will receive monetary awards they can use to cover expenses related to their post-secondary studies. Last year seven award winners each received an $850 scholarship.

Applicants will be judged on their academic and civic achievement and on the quality of their written submissions as to what Black History Month means to them. Only Queens residents are eligible for the scholarships.

Any Queens high school senior seeking to apply for an African American Heritage Scholarship must submit a completed application and an official school transcript by 5 p.m. on January 13, 2015. Those who win the scholarships will be notified on February 3, 2015 and will be recognized during Borough President Katz’s African American Heritage Celebration on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 6 p.m. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center

The online application for the scholarship program can be found on Borough President Katz’s website at www.QueensBP.org/AAHCScholarshipApp.

Borough President Adams Joins New York City’s Borough President in Responding to Assassinations of NYPD Officers Liu in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams was in solidarity with his fellow borough presidents across New York City, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo, in a response to the assassinations of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in Bedford-Stuyvesant yesterday afternoon. The loss of these two police officers marked the eighth and ninth members of New York’s Finest who died this year in the line of duty. Borough President Adams, along with Borough Presidents Brewer and Diaz, were present at the memorial for NYPD Officers Liu and Ramos to speak to the public safety of New Yorkers in the wake of this tragedy, and urged all to join them in praying for the families of the fallen.

Borough President Diaz Jr: FreshDirect Breaks Ground on New South Bronx Facility

FreshDirect, a leading online fresh food grocer, is excited to announce the groundbreaking on its new South Bronx headquarters today. The 500,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility at the Harlem River Yard will help create more local jobs, foster employee growth opportunities, and provide additional capacity to allow the company to offer a greater selection of high-quality, fresh food to customers. The new facility is slated to be completed in late 2016.

“New York is in our DNA and we are excited about our future in the Bronx,” said Jason Ackerman, FreshDirect’s Co-Founder and CEO. “I am grateful for the widespread support we have received for our relocation and am looking forward to continuing our record of creating local jobs and strengthening our local community. I am also appreciative of our loyal customers who have made FreshDirect a leading online provider of fresh, high-quality foods. This is an important milestone for our company, allowing us to process orders more efficiently, expand our fresh food options, and make online grocery shopping more convenient for our customers.”

Founded in 2002, FreshDirect is a leading food and technology business serving customers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The company revolutionized the fresh food supply chain, and pioneered the use of technology to make online grocery shopping seamless, offering fresh, high-quality food that is sourced direct from the farm. Due to increasing demand for fresh, organic options, as well as food solutions to make cooking at home healthier and easier, FreshDirect’s business is thriving. The company has outgrown its current headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, and has worked with city and state leadership and Bronx elected officials on a relocation plan. The project will house FreshDirect’s corporate headquarters and food manufacturing and distribution facility. It will surpass energy code requirements and utilize energy-efficient lighting, as well as high-efficiency refrigeration and air conditioning. The site will have electric charging stations for its fleet, as well as indoor/outdoor gardens for employees to enjoy. The facility will also feature state-of-the-art technology to process fresh-from-the-farm food orders, as well as increased in-house manufacturing facilities such as kitchens and bakeries.

“This project represents new jobs, and new development, and is a key component of our ‘New Bronx’ agenda,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “FreshDirect has cleared every hurdle placed in its way, and today’s groundbreaking puts the company on the fast track to their future Bronx relocation. I’m proud to support FreshDirect, and I look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with the company and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation to put even more Bronx residents to work.” FreshDirect currently employs nearly 3,000 workers, approximately 600 of whom live in the Bronx. The company has committed to hiring an additional 1,000 employees and many of those positions will be filled by Bronx residents.

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