‘It’s a hot mess’: NYPD was ‘blindsided’ by NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to involuntarily commit mentally ill homeless people and claims City Hall ‘jumped the gun’
The New York Police Department (NYPD) was ‘blindsided’ by Mayor Eric Adams’ new mental health plan to involuntarily commit mentally ill people.
Adams, 62, announced his New Pathway plan on Tuesday at City Hall to the shock of the NYPD, who sources say didn’t know about the announcement or the initiative.
The plan will allow the NYPD and FDNY to forcibly hospitalize the mentally ill who refuse treatment, even if they do not appear to pose a clear or present danger to themselves or others.
Adams’ announcement comes as colder weather rolls in and the city’s increasing homeless population are seeking shelter in subway stations and trains. Violent crime, especially on public transportation, has risen across all five boroughs as the city’s residents fear unprovoked attacks from the mentally ill.
‘This directive lays out an expedited, step-by-step process for involuntarily transporting a person experiencing a mental health crisis to a hospital for evaluation,’ Adams said on Tuesday.
However, a source told the New York Post that the police were ‘blindsided’ by Adams’ announcement and think he’s ‘jumped the gun on this.’
‘Not sure why they did it,’ the source said. ‘Like everything else, it gets dumped in our lap and we’re expected to solve the problem without any guidance.
‘It’s kind of a hot mess.’
A source said the NYPD was ‘blindsided’ by the announcement on Tuesday. ‘Like everything else, it gets dumped in our lap and we’re expected to solve the problem without any guidance,’ they said. Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell (pictured) was not in attendance at the press conference
Mayor Eric Adam’s New Pathway plan will allow the NYPD and FDNY to forcibly hospitalize the mentally ill who refuse treatment, even if they do not appear to pose a clear or present danger to themselves or others
However, City Hall insisted the NYPD has known about this initiative for ‘months.’ And the NYPD later issued a statement on Wednesday, saying: ‘To be clear, every city agency received this directive yesterday, however, we have been working with the mayor’s office for months regarding this important initiative.
‘[We are] currently in the process of aligning its policy, guidance, and training in conformance with the mayor’s directive which the department received on Tuesday.’
With transit crimes up 33.5 percent and overall crime up 26.7 percent, Adams said he felt it was necessary to implement a ‘long-term strategy to help more of those suffering from severe and untreated mental illness [to] find their way to treatment and recovery.’
‘If severe mental illness is causing someone to be unsheltered and a danger to themselves, we have a moral obligation to help them get the treatment and care they need,’ he said on Tuesday.
‘If severe mental illness is causing someone to be unsheltered and a danger to themselves, we have a moral obligation to help them get the treatment and care they need,’ Adams said on Tuesday
Overall crime is up 26.7 percent in the Big Apple as the city continues to battle heightened violent crime
Transit crimes have increased 33.5 percent this year, compared to the same time last year, with more than 500 more crimes taking place
Some emergency room doctors, however, like Craig Spencer – who works in the psych ER – are skeptical of Adams’ new plan, saying there aren’t enough beds for the mentally as it is .
‘I’ve worked in the psych ER for more than a decade and have a bad feeling about how this’ll play out in reality…’ Spencer, who said he is in ‘full support of providing emergency care,’ wrote on Twitter.
‘It’ll probably be no surprise to hear that the NYC mental health system is dramatically understaffed and under resourced,’ he continued. ‘In the ER, patients often wait days or weeks (or longer) for placement. No one moves on the weekends or holidays. The list only gets longer.
It is not uncommon for New Yorkers to encounter people sleeping in train stations
As the weather gets colder, more and more homeless people find shelter in the subway
Outreach workers are seen talking to a homeless person. Outreach workers were deployed to the station as part of Adams’ Subway Safety Plan
‘Patients back up into ERs. This creates challenges for providers and other patients, both in providing care and safety for everyone.’
Spencer also said Adams’ earlier initiative – the Subway Safety Plan – which worked to clear out the homeless from the subway system ‘only added to the overflow’ of the hospitals and that medical staff need ‘way more resources’ to implement these programs.
‘Fifty beds will hardly make any substantial difference,’ the emergency room doctor wrote. ‘NYC Mayor says they’re going to “find a bed for everyone.” I’d love if we could do that first with the patients already waiting for one now.’
Part of the New Pathway plan, according to Adams, is changing New York City law to make it clear that ‘outreach workers, hospital staff, and police officers’ are allowed to intervene ‘when mental illness prevents a person from meeting their basic human needs.’
He said there’s a ‘common misunderstanding’ that the selected group ‘cannot provide involuntary assistance unless the person is violent, suicidal, or presenting a risk of imminent harm,’ and says it’s now time to put this ‘myth’ to rest.
Until now, city employees and hospital workers were trained and instructed to limit the involuntary commitment program to individuals who present an imminent threat to themselves or the general public.
Now, however, attorneys for City Hall have determined that guidance issued by the governor’s office provides an expanded set of criteria. This includes an apparent inability to care for oneself – a standard met by many of the homeless population of the city.
Michelle Go, 40, died after being pushed by Martial Simon, 61, who is homeless. Go was waiting for a train at the Times Square station in January. Martial (pictured in January) will not face trial after two court-appointed psychiatrists said he was unfit to stand trial
Frank James (pictured) shot 10 and injured dozens in April after he started shooting on a Manhattan-bound subway train
Frantic commuters were seen trying to run for the exits at the next stop after a gunman opened fire on the moving train
Adams said the new guidelines will be handed down to police officers, social workers and mental health treatment professionals, all of whom will be expected to adhere to the new orders.
In addition, he wants to further change the law to require more extensive screenings at hospitals in New York for people brought in suffering from apparent untreated mental illness.
A new hotline is also being established to assist frontline city staff with fast answers in case they are unsure if the individual they encounter should be taken to the hospital.
Homeless rights advocates, who have often responded negatively to Adams’ initiatives, granted a stamp of approval to the mayor’s new plan.
‘We appreciate Mayor Adams holding his address to bring further attention to the mental health crisis facing so many New Yorkers, many of whom include the people we represent,’ Legal Aid said in a statement.
The mayor has previously said he believes the ‘blue surge,’ aka his plan to place more NYPD officers on patrol in the city’s subway system, is working. His claim runs contrary to recent crime statistics, which indicate a 40 percent surge this year in murders, rapes and robberies this year.
In addition, a high-profile wave of subway crime has occurred during Adams’ tenure in office, including the fatal January shoving of Michelle Go, which was committed by a homeless man deemed unfit to stand trial due to his untreated psychosis.
A stark naked man went crazy in the Union Square subway station in October, running around the platform before entering a packed subway car
Police were nowhere in sight as a stark naked man caused a scene on a packed New York City subway platform, leaving MTA employees struggling to contain the raving man themselves
In April, Brooklyn commuters on their way to Manhattan endured a mass shootingon the subway that left many terrified and rattled the city for days.
Frank James, 62, shot 10 people on a packed subway car and injured dozens of others. Shortly after, rambling videos of James were found on his YouTube page, where he raged against homeless people, racism, and the mayor.
In October, a stark naked man went nuts at NYC’s busy Union Square subway station and MTA officials struggled to calm him down before he ran into a packed subway car.
Footage from the Union Square station in downtown Manhattan showed an unidentified man wearing nothing but a right sock sprawled on his back on the ground as an MTA employee tries to restrain him.
The man eventually breaks free and begins running errantly across the platform, circling a column and even doing a sort of freestyle breakdance across the floor as he tries to evade the employees’ continued attempts to corral him.
Blood was left on the L-train platform in November after a man slashed a man and a woman before fleeing the Union Square subway station
The gathered crowd of commuters reacted in horror and amusement, with some laughing at the farcical scene and others reacting in horror while they dodged away from the man’s naked theatrics.
At one point the man staggers into the open doors of a packed subway car waiting at the station, and with screaming straphangers pouring out onto the platform from another door until the man stumbles out himself.
At the same station this month, a woman, 28, and a man, 29, were slashed repeatedly on the L-train platform, leaving large amounts of blood on the platform.
The suspect fled the scene and has yet to be arrested.