Police officers in New York City reportedly are being attacked and injured at a record-setting pace, according to data from the New York Police Department (NYPD).
The NYPD information shows that through the first three quarters of last year, 4,077 officers suffered injuries compared to 4,737 throughout the entirety of 2022.
Although data for the fourth quarter of 2023 has not yet been released, that puts the number of officers hurt by suspects on pace for a record-breaking 5,436 injuries, according to the New York Post.
“Well over 5,000 cops were attacked and injured last year – that’s not only a record, it’s a full-blown epidemic,” Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry told the newspaper.
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“The vicious attacks on police officers we’ve seen recently didn’t come out of nowhere. This dangerous environment has been building for years…. It’s not going to get better until those who attack police officers are consistently prosecuted and kept in jail,” he added. “And that won’t happen unless New Yorkers keep speaking up to demand an end to the chaos.”
In 2021, only 3,939 on- and off-duty officers suffered injuries, the data shows.
Of those hurt in the first three quarters of last year, 261 officers suffered either substantial or serious physical injuries, compared to 315 in all of 2022.
That puts 2023’s numbers on pace for a 10% spike to 348, the New York Post reported.
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One of the most recent incidents resulting in injury involved migrants attacking a pair of police officers in Times Square in late January.
Also in January, a machete-wielding suspect slashed a sergeant in the head in Brooklyn, and in Manhattan, an officer was punched in the face at a subway station while another allegedly was struck by a wrong-way driver while responding to a robbery scene, the newspaper reported.
“The NYPD is excellent at catching the people who perpetrate crimes, but New York City doesn’t want to prosecute and incarcerate anybody anymore,” Lou Turco, the head of the NYPD’s Lieutenants Benevolent Association, told Digital last week.
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Changes to the state’s bail laws in 2019 eliminated cash bail and mandated release for most misdemeanor and nonviolent offenses, which critics argue is a soft-touch approach to policing that has worsened crime in the city. Proponents say the law aimed to reduce the risk that someone with limited means would be jailed because they could not afford to pay bail.
’ Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.