Bail reform will be top issue for Eric Adams: NYPD commissioner



Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said he thinks bail reform will be the “number one issue” for incoming Mayor Eric Adams — as he continued to blast soft-on-crime laws that have kept many criminals out of jail. 

In a Wednesday morning appearance on PIX11, the top cop repeated his familiar refrain that sweeping bail reform measures that took effect last year have had a detrimental effect on public safety. 

“I think [bail reform is] gonna be the number one issue for the new mayor, for Eric Adams, how he deals with the City Council, you know … a lot of good people there, and how he deals with the state Legislature,” the commissioner said. “You know, you hear really good things coming out of Gov. Hochul as well.”

He argued that “everyone has to agree” that “everything is built on public safety,” including businesses, tourism and education. 

“We have to shout out some of the — you know, the kind of extremists on either side, that have agendas,” Shea said. “And how do we start with a proposition of, ‘We want the best possible New York City. We want it to be safe for everyone.’”

 New York City Mayor-elect Eric Adams
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea believes dealing with bail reform will be the biggest issue for Eric Adams when he becomes mayor.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

“How do we do it in the most fair way and make small changes to the laws, and … get the people around the table to kind of listen to that blueprint?” he added.

As Shea and other police brass have done since the bail reform laws took effect in January 2020, he argued that the state has “created laws to decarcerate and we’re feeling that on the streets.” 

“So we just need to kind of get a little more in balance,” the commissioner said. “Not throw large amounts of people in jail. But listen … do you want somebody that carries a gun over and over walking around on the street next to you? I think 99 out of 100 New Yorkers will say absolutely not. And that’s what I hear when I walk through New York City every day.”

But The Post found last year that the NYPD’s data debunked claims of bail reform leading to spikes in gun violence — indicating that most people released under the criminal justice reforms or amid the pandemic had no known ties to the bloodshed.

The PIX11 interview came a day after Shea pointed to the cover of Tuesday’s Post to push for changes to soft-on-crime laws. 

The cover story involved Steven Mendez, 17, who was freed by acting Bronx Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle on five years’ probation — over prosecutors’ objections — in connection to a 2020 armed robbery shooting. 

He then went on to allegedly murder 21-year-old Saikou Koma, an “innocent kid,” in an Oct. 24 botched gang hit in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx.

“Look at the cover of the New York Post today — another life lost,” he said on NY1. “And we’re having this conversation over and over again. Hopefully, hopefully soon, we’ll get some changes, small changes and we can turn it around in a hurry.”


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