A majority of Democratic primary voters in New York City said they would prefer the city’s next mayor prioritize alternatives to policing to address rising gun violence rates, The Appeal reported. According to a June survey of 874 Democratic voters, 60 percent want the next mayor to emphasize community violence intervention strategies over putting more police officers on the street. The survey comes as gun violence rises across the city, although the seven major felonies the city tracks remain at lower rates in 2020 than in 2019.
A majority of survey respondents also said they want the next mayor to urge the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to solve murders, adding that the significant number of unsolved cases could be connected to rising gun violence. More survey respondents said they would prefer non-police first responders to intervene in situations that don’t necessitate armed police officers. Respondents also favored investing in after-school programs and drug and mental health programs to an increased police presence. The results align with a July 2020 study from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which found that “in the years during which New York City ‘relied less on traditional policing tactics’ the city experienced the second greatest decline in gun violence in the entire country.”