(NY1) NYPD Credits Reduction in NYC Murders to Gang Takedowns

More than 2,000 alleged members of violent street gangs have been arrested in the city in just the last year and a half. Officials say the takedowns are a big reason New York is the safest it has been in more than 50 years.

The NYPD vows the arrests will continue.

“What I am not going to have happen is woman walking down the street having to dodge bullets, kids growing up on a block that have to worry about two heroin dealers fighting over turf,” said Dermot Shea, chief of crime control strategies for the NYPD.

The NYPD, along with federal law enforcement agencies and sometimes Homeland Security, have conducted 250 major operations against local gangs since April of last year. Twenty, thirty, forty, or more suspects arrested at one time. The sweeps taking place in every borough.

In some cases, federal prosecutors are bringing charges. In the others, borough district attorneys.

“Look, if there isn’t a problem with gangs, if there isn’t violence, if people aren’t being shot at and killed, we have no interest,” said Joon Kim, acting U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York.

Kim says gang activity is a lead cause of shootings in the city, an issue so important, he agreed to sit down with NY1 for his first one-on-one interview in his current role. He says a top priority for him is stomping out violent gangs.

Read more from NY1 [HERE].