What there is to know
- The number of arrests linked to people with mental health histories has increased over the past five years, according to NYPD statistics obtained by NBC 4 New York.
- Mental health wellness and how police respond to incidents involving a potentially emotionally disturbed person have been at the forefront of city policy and reform for some time.
- Earlier this month, state and local leaders unveiled a new crime-fighting plan they say will help end attacks in New York’s transit system – which has seen a number high-profile violent attacks, many of which were unprovoked.
The number of arrests linked to people with mental health histories has increased over the past five years, according to an NYPD statistical analysis obtained by NBC 4 New York.
For the seven major criminal offenses (murder and manslaughter without negligence, rape, robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny of a motor vehicle), there were 38,608 related arrests for 2022 year to -Date. Of that figure, 9,049, or 23.4%, of those arrested have a documented mental health history, referred to as an “emotionally disturbed person” or EDP, by police.
This latest citywide percentage of arrested individuals who are defined as emotionally disturbed is an increase from statistics from the year 2017 when there were 41,539 arrests for the seven major offenses citywide, with 14.9% (6,187) of arrestees with a documented computer history. .
NYPD statistics show that of the number of citywide arrests under the seven major offenses for 2022 year-to-date, 421 of the arrests year-to-date are in the top seven. major offenses that have taken place on the city’s public transit system. , almost 40% (163) were people with emotional problems.
The department notes that its analysis is limited to data available to the NYPD, which is primarily assisted reporting and medical processing of prisoner reports, according to the department. This figure may not include all arrestees who have emotional backgrounds.
Breaking down the statistics further, felony assault arrests for 2022 to date are 16,100, with 3,495 (21.7%) of those arrests being people with computer backgrounds – a jump from the 15,543 total arrests for criminal assault citywide for 2017 of which 16% (2,484) were people with EDP.
Additionally, according to NYPD statistics, of the 3,020 stabbing/stabbing arrests year-to-date across the city, 679 (22.5%) have a documented computer history. Meanwhile, for the year 2017, of the 3,238 stabbing/stabbing arrests that occurred citywide, 542 (16.7%) have a documented computer history.
NYPD statistics also report that of the 1,181 accused and persons of interest in the 2022 shootings year-to-date across the city, 133 (11.3%) have a documented EDP history. For the year 2017, out of 735 apparent perpetrators or people with an interest in the shootings, 6% – or 44 individuals – were considered PDEs.
NYC’S EFFORTS TO COMBAT THE MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY
Mental health wellness and how police respond to incidents involving a potentially emotionally disturbed person have been at the forefront of city policy and reform for some time.
Earlier this month, state and local leaders unveiled a new crime-fighting plan they say will help end attacks in New York’s transit system – which has seen a number high-profile violent attacks, many of which were unprovoked.
Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a new plan over the past weekend to address subway violence — targeted or otherwise — in a bid to allay public concerns as the struggling MTA is looking to continue its slow pandemic rebound.
Democrats said they plan to greenlight more than a thousand extra hours each day designed specifically to increase the number of uniformed officers patrolling platforms and trains. Funding 1,200 extra shifts would mean 10,000 extra patrol hours each day. Their weekend announcement also called for the creation of two new inpatient psychiatric facilities to help people with serious mental health issues.
Hochul said part of the plan calls for the MTA Police to focus resources on stations tied to the four major commuter rail hubs — Penn Station, Grand Central, Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica Station — a decision, in turn, that allows NYPD officers to increase coverage. through the system. Metro riders on Monday may also have noticed announcements at some stations reminding them that police are available in the area if they need to report a crime or concern.
“Cops, Cameras, Care,” as Hochul called the series of initiatives, includes expanded mental health training previously given to New York State Police and crisis response first responders. State training will now be provided to police and other city first responders specifically involved in transporting people requiring psychiatric evaluation.
NYC said it is focusing its efforts to make subways safer on six lines in particular, as mental health teams partner with police to tackle crime and homelessness. NBC New York’s Erica Byfield reports.
Elected officials have recognized the perception of violence that is rampant in public transit. City leaders say there has been a drop in crime, but the nine homicides within the MTA this year have created an outpouring of frustration that they say needs to be addressed head on.
“We need to address both perception and reality of safety, and the expanded partnership we are announcing today with Governor Hochul will do just that, while building on the successes of our subway safety plan. The bottom line is that users will see more agents in the system, and those who think about breaking the law will too,” Adams said.
Sending dozens of additional officers into the transit system is a method already in the mayor’s toolbox. His subway security plan announced earlier in the year deployed additional cops after his administration began.
Adams said 40% of the murders in transit were committed by people with serious mental health issues. So the next step is about mental health.
The state has promised 50 new inpatient beds — under a new plan to essentially — hire people.
The two new psychiatric facilities, the first of which is expected to open by November 1, will each include 25 inpatient units. The second should open in early 2023.
The state Office of Mental Health will oversee the treatment program designed to help people 18 and older who are homeless and have serious mental illnesses, Hochul said.
As part of OMH’s new assignment, a phased program will be put in place to help patients transition to independent living environments.
Installing security cameras is among the plan’s top priorities — the governor expects at least 750 cameras to be installed inside subway cars every month; the entire fleet is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Already, the governor noted, more than 200 cameras have been added to cars since her announcement last month.
Critics were quick to blast the plan, with Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch calling it “unsustainable”.
“Our city needs to immediately increase wages and improve working conditions in order to recruit and retain enough police officers. This is the only way to ensure real safety on the subway, rather than the illusion of ‘omnipresence’. ‘” Lynch said.
What’s more, mental health advocates fear it’s overbroad and won’t solve the problem without a huge commitment to supportive housing.
Last year, the city and NYC Health + Hospitals revealed a mental health program where, instead of showing up with the police, NYC paramedics will be accompanied by a social worker.
“B-HEARD,” or Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division, seeks to limit NYPD contacts that could go awry or trigger an emotionally disturbed person.
City hall said at the time that 2% of its 911 calls were related to emotionally disturbed people. City officials said at the time that these new teams would only be dispatched to 911 calls that come in without weapons or violent behavior.
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