We obviously have a gun problem in New York City. Don't believe us? How about the untimely death of NYPD officer Randolph Holder in October? How about the one weekend where seven people died from gun violence in NYC in one weekend in September?
While those are just a couple of recent instances where guns have needlessly taken the lives of our communities, the fact of the matter is that people die from gun violence in NYC every week, and we've had enough of it.
Apparently, Mayor Bill de Blasio's had enough of the carnage, too.
According to The New York Times, next Tuesday, de Blasio will unveil a new system for handling gun violence cases, create a dedicated gun court in Brooklyn, and he'll create a 200-officer police division focused solely on gun crime.
The program is called Project Fast Track by City Hall, and it'll start this month. Project Fast Track will mandate that those charged with possession of a firearm will be sent to one of two courtrooms in the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
Two judges: Suzanne M. Mondo and Cassandra M. Mullen will preside over arraignments, indictments, and trials in NYC's hundreds of gun arrests every year.
The new, 200-officer division will be called the Gun Violence Suppression Division, and it'll be made up mostly of detectives. They'll handle all police investigations related to illegal firearms, and they'll assign a specific officer to oversee each gun case until its end.
Are you wondering how this new project will be funded? Well, the mayor's office said funding for this project will be drawn from existing court and police resources.
The only addition cost will be the $2 million the NYPD will designate to the city medical examiner, starting in 2017, to provide quick testing of DNA evidence from illegal guns.
Deputy Chief James Essig will lead the gun suppression division. He said "everything involving guns" will now be handled by the gun suppression division.
"Dedicated judges will help us prosecute gun cases faster and more efficiently in Brooklyn," said Ken Thompson, the District Attorney in Brooklyn.
visionquestnyc New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hold press conference to announce 'Project Fast Track' to ensure shooters are quickly apprehended and remain off the streets and also announce Gun Violence Suppression Division to enhance evidence gathering. (Photo by Terrence Jennings/terrencejennings.com) #MayorDeBlasio #NewYorkCity #Brooklyn #StatenIsland #Bronx #Manhattan #Queen #GunViolence #Illegalfirearms #TerrenceJennings
The new court is designed to resolve illegal gun cases in six months.
Unfortunately, it'll only deal with gun possession cases, not the ones where someone's opened fire on the street, but it's our sincere hope that stricter laws on gun possession will drastically reduce the number of opened-fire-on-the-street cases.
"We will get away from this notion that some gun cases are mere possession cases," said Richard M. Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. "When somebody makes a decision to pick up a gun, that's like a pre-murder case."
We're sure there will be those who will be up in arms about their Second Amendment Rights, and we'd like to gently remind those people that they can still hold legal guns. It's the possession of illegal guns this program will restrict.
We're happy about the possibility of this program, because we're looking forward to fewer people being murdered every week. Is that just us?
Check out the L Train Might Get Shut Down. For Years.[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]