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Well, someone is looking forward to a new mayor.
New York City’s biggest problems are “crime, crime, crime” — and the Big Apple won’t recover from the COVID-19 pandemic until the streets and subways are safe again, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.
“Of all the things we have to do when we’re talking in New York City, specifically, crime, crime, crime are the top three,” Cuomo said.
“And then we will get everything else.”
During a nearly 10-minute rant on the city’s increasing dangerousness under Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Cuomo warned that planned infrastructure improvements and government handouts alone can’t reboot the economy.
“We’re building new projects, we’re stimulating small business,” he said during a news conference in his Manhattan office.
“What comes before that is people have to feel safe — public safety — otherwise, none of it works. None of it works.”
Cuomo’s comments came in response to a reporter’s question about the use of force by cops, which Cuomo said was being addressed both by state lawmakers and “on the national level.”
“But there’s also no doubt that the problem is bigger than that. And that’s, that’s where I want to start,” he said.
“We have a major crime problem in New York City … We have a major problem in the subway system.”
Cuomo said there was a “direct correlation” between the city’s crime rate and the willingness of small-business owners to make investments in neighborhoods.
He also cited a recent MTA report that found the number of cops in subway stations and on trains was “de minimis.”
“New Yorkers don’t feel safe. You know why they don’t feel safe? Because the crime rate is up,” he said.
“It’s not that they are being neurotic or overly sensitive. They are right. They are right.”
Cuomo, who grew up in Queens, added, “I’ve seen this cycle over and over and over again.”
He recalled how, in his youth, “You got on a train, you walk the train to find the police officer on the train. And you sat in that car.”
“You went into a station, you walk the station to find where the police officer was standing and you stood next to the police officer. That was real. That was real.”
Cuomo also appeared to poke fun at a Post reporter in the audience while describing the past practice of having to hide one’s jewelry while riding the subways.
“Kevin used to wear these very gaudy gold chains and he would have to put them inside his T-shirt, tuck them in so nobody took your chain,” he said.
“He also had this very gaudy ring, like [the] pirates had. He had to take it off, put it in his pocket.”
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