Cities across America are bolstering their patrols for the summer, expecting relaxed coronavirus restrictions to potentially lead to more danger and crime in the streets.
Crime normally rises in the summer months, as the temperatures keep more people in the streets, increasing the shootings, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Shootings and homicides are up 32.2% in U.S. cities of more than 1 million people, while New York City's shootings and homicides are up 27% from last year, according to the FBI's Quarterly Uniform Crime Report.
"We're coming out of the pandemic, life is starting again, and more people are going to be out on the street," Jersey City, N.J., director of public safety James Shea told the Journal.
The Jersey City PD plans to bolster patrols in high-crime areas, including more video surveillance, and community relations outreach – the latter of which was stressed by Washington, D.C., Metro Police Chief Robert Contee to the Journal.
"You wouldn't see a lot of that last year, and we certainly want to do more of that because I think that that's how you get to safer communities, by engaging community members of where they are," Chief Contee said.
New York City already saw a 25-year high in shootings during the pandemic a year ago, and now will be dispatching 200 officers to 100 blocks of the cities most crime-ridden areas.
"The warmer months always usually give us more problems when it comes to violence," NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison told the Journal.
New York City has had 451 shootings thus far this year, up 86% from 242 at the same time last year – some of which was under the most severe coronavirus lockdowns, according to the report.
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